100 killed as quake strikes Indonesia

Updated: Dec 08, 2016, 10:35 IST | Agencies

Nearly 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in Indonesia yesterday when a strong earthquake hit its Aceh province and rescuers used earth movers and bare hands to search for survivors in scores of toppled buildings


Members of a search and rescue team and residents gather at one of the affected sites in Pidie Jaya, Aceh province, on Wednesday. Pics/AFP

PIDIE JAYA (Indonesia): Nearly 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in Indonesia yesterday when a strong earthquake hit its Aceh province and rescuers used earth movers and bare hands to search for survivors in scores of toppled buildings.

Medical volunteers rushed in fading evening light to get people to hospitals, which were straining to cope with the influx of injured. The Aceh provincial government said in a statement 93 people had died and over 500 were injured, many seriously. Sutopo Nugroho of Indonesia's national disaster management agency, said a state of emergency had been declared in Aceh, which sits on the northern tip of Sumatra island. "We are now focusing on searching for victims and possible survivors," said Nugroho. His agency put the death toll at 94.

 
People carry the body of a young victim recovered from the rubble. Pics/AFP

Officials urged people to sleep outdoors as twilight fell, in case aftershocks caused more damage to already precarious buildings. President Joko Widodo is expected to visit the area today, his deputy told media.

Yesterday's quake hit the province's east coast, about 170 km from Banda Aceh. Nugroho said Aceh's Pidie Jaya regency, with a population of about 140,000, was the worst hit. Many had suffered broken bones and gashes and had to be treated in hospital corridors and hastily erected disaster tents, a witness said. Television showed footage of flattened mosques, fallen electricity poles and crushed cars. A Red Crescent volunteer said health workers were struggling. "There aren't enough medical staff," the Red Crescent's Muklis told TVOne.

1,000
No. of personnel deployed to help in disaster relief

1.2L
Number of people who died in Aceh during a 2004 quake

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