Indonesia Earthquake: At Least 97 People Killed in Aceh Province
At least 97 people are reported after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s northern Aceh province, say local military officials.
The quake struck just off the north-east coast of Sumatra island, where dozens of buildings have collapsed and many people are feared trapped under rubble.
“So far, 97 people have been killed and the number keeps growing,” Aceh military chief Tatang Sulaiman said in a live TV interview.
Hundreds of people have been injured.
In 2004, a huge undersea quake off the coast of Aceh caused a tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people in Indonesia alone.
There was no tsunami after December 7 tremor, which struck just offshore at 05:03 local time at a depth of 8km, according to USGS.
A spokesman for Indonesia’s national disaster agency said more than 200 stores and homes had been destroyed, along with 14 mosques. A hospital and school were also badly damaged.
Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman said four people had been rescued alive from the rubble and he believed there might be four or five more still buried, though he did not say whether they were alive.
Pidie Jaya is along the north coast of Aceh, and has a population of about 150,000.
It is about 68 miles from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.
The quake shook Banda Aceh and prompted many people across the region to flee their homes. Many are said to be reluctant to go back indoors, amid a number of aftershocks.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire – the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.