Death toll in Indonesia quake reaches 97, rescue operations on
Los Angeles : Western Indonesia was on Wednesday shook by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 100 people, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of scores of shattered buildings.
The 6.5-magnitude quake struck Pidie Jaya district in Aceh province at dawn. At the time many were going to offer the morning prayers when the tragedy shook the Sumatra island.
Since then the death toll has steadily climbed; ongoing rescue operations crews are trying to search those dead and injured.
The Indonesian military revised the earlier figure of 52 dead to 97 after a day’s operation. The state has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers and about 900 police to the worst-hit areas to set up shelters and evacuation points.
Aceh military chief Tatang Sulaiman told media, "So far 97 people have been killed and the number keeps growing. When we retrieve bodies sometimes there's five, sometimes 10 corpses."
Local disaster agency head Puteh Manaf said, "The electricity is still off. Some places have generators, but there are not many. If it rains there will be disease."
Hospitals in the area have been overwhelmed with patients treated on the lawns.
In 2004 an earthquake triggered a tsunami that engulfed parts of Aceh and other countries around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia alone.