Deadly earthquake hits Aceh in Indonesia
Aceh (Indonesia), 7 Dec – An undersea earthquake off Indonesia’s northern Aceh province has killed at least 25 people.
The 6.5 magnitude quake struck 19km (12 miles) south-east of the town of Sigli on Sumatra island, where dozens of buildings have collapsed and people are feared trapped under rubble.
Indonesia’s meteorological agency said there was no risk of a tsunami.
In 2004, Aceh was devastated by a tsunami caused by a huge undersea earthquake that killed 120,000 people.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck just offshore at 05:03 local time (22:03 GMT Tuesday) at a depth of 17.2km.
Said Mulyadi, deputy district chief of Pidie Jaya, the region hit hardest by the quake, told the BBC’s Indonesian service that the death toll could rise.
A collapsed mosque minaret is seen after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Pidie, Indonesia’s Aceh province in northern Sumatra, on December 7, 2016.Image copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Residents gather around a collapsed building after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Pidie, Indonesia’s Aceh province in northern Sumatra, on December 7, 2016.Image copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
He told the AFP news agency that several children were among the dead and that local hospitals had been overwhelmed.
Heavy equipment is being used to search for survivors, but Pidie Jaya District Chief Aiyub Abbas told the Associated Press that more was needed.
The quake shook the provincial capital of 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.
The island of Sumatra has been hit by several earthquakes this year.