In the early hours of the morning today, Indonesia experienced a magnitude-6.5 earthquake in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
The death toll has gone up to at least 97, including children, while about 73 are gravely injured.
The earthquake, which lasted for 15 seconds, destroyed hundreds of buildings. About 72 combined shops and dwellings, 15 houses, 5 mosques, a petrol station and a school, all collapsed during the quake.
A local hospital in Pidie Jaya was also affected. The Indonesian Red Cross anticipates the rescue of more survivors as the day unfolds.
Report says that injury cases as a result of the quake have overwhelmed the local medical centres. Consequently survivors are currently being moved to hospitals in nearby cities.
A team of rescuers are endlessly searching through the rubble in order to pull out bodies and hopefully save victims alive from the rubble.
Hasbi Jaya, a local resident, who witnessed the shaking, said the earthquake started while he was asleep with his family.
“We immediately ran outside the house but it crumbled. Everything from the roof to the floor collapsed and was destroyed,”
“I looked around and all my neighbors’ houses were also completely destroyed.”
Regency head Aiyub Abbas confirmed that heavy equipment has been introduced into the affected area to help move the rubble; thereby making the search for survivors easier for the rescue team.
“This morning I received a report about the earthquake and I’ve already ordered all agencies to take action according to their authority.
“And soon the chief of presidential staff will be going there.
“I’m told that most places in Pidie are impacted, most of the shops are collapsed, wiped out, mosques are completely down.”
Recall that in 2004, Aceh province was devastated by a tsunami. Aceh was the worst-hit region with more than 120,000 people killed.
Indonesia is positioned on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide. That’s why it experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity.