At least 97 people have died after a powerful earthquake hit Aceh province in Indonesia on Wednesday, according to Major General Tatang Sulaiman, who has military command in the area affected. No tsunami warning has been issued.
Several buildings collapsed after the magnitude 6.4 quake, which occurred just after 5 o’clock on Wednesday morning.
The quake was triggered off the coast, about 10 kilometers north of the city of Reuleut, in northern Aceh, and was over 17 kilometers deep. Indonesia’s meteorological and geophysical authorities said the quake had the potential to trigger a tsunami.
A woman and her two children were killed in Pidie Jaya, 18 km distance from the epicenter, said a local TV station official. The head of disaster preparedness for the area affected said capacity is exhausted in the one hospital in the region, where several hundred people are injured and in need of treatment.
A local official said several of the injured have been treated in hospitals outside the district, for fear of aftershocks.
A mosque collapsed, along with several shops, residential homes, and other buildings. Construction equipment has been brought in to help in the search for survivors.
Aceh was the area hit hardest by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit many countries in Southeast and Southern Asia and Africa on Boxing Day 2004.
The cost of that disaster totaled at least 230,000 people losing their lives, and over half of those casualties were in Aceh province.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today