Indonesia: At least 97 died in a 6.5 magnitude earthquake (and the toll could worsen)
At least 97 people died and hundreds were injured after a strong earthquake on Wednesday in Aceh in Indonesia, at the northern tip of Sumatra , said local authorities.
“We have 52 dead, 73 seriously injured and 200 others with minor injuries”, said two hours earlier to reporters director of the National Agency for Disaster, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
He observed that the balance still expected to rise because of “extensive destruction” caused by the earthquake .
No tsunami warning
The magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred at shallow depth, north of the small town of Reuleuet in western Indonesia, said the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS). No warning tsunami was triggered after the earthquake to 5 h 03 (23 h 03 Tuesday, French time) in the area at the edge of the Indian Ocean, but major damage was reported.
The quake was felt in much of Aceh province, said local official of the Meteorological Agency, Climatology and Geophysics Indonesian, Eridawati, who has a surname as number of Indonesians. At least five aftershocks followed the main quake, he added.
The people trapped in the rubble
An elderly man probably died of a heart attack, while dozens of people are under the rubble of their homes, said his side a district officer, Apriadi Achmad. “Many small houses collapsed in the district of Pidie Jaya, and the owners are stuck in the rubble,” said the head of the local office of disaster management.
In the small town of Sigli, located as Reuleuet on the north coast, people panicked and fled their homes to seek refuge away from the sea. “We go to Tijue (about 3 km from Sigli) because we fear that there is a tsunami, “said one resident, Nilawati, whose house is near the sea.
More than 170,000 deaths in 2004
Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, was devastated in 2004 by an underwater earthquake that caused a massive tsunami. He had more than 170,000 dead in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in several other countries of the Indian Ocean.
In June, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck West Sumatra, destroying dozens of buildings and injuring eight people. Indonesia is located on the “Ring of Fire” Pacific, where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity significant.