Aftershocks rattle Indonesia
Aftershocks rattled the survivors of a devastating Indonesian earthquake that killed more than 100 people, as officials urgently appealed on Thursday for medicine and doctors to treat the hundreds injured.
The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake levelled hundreds of homes, mosques and businesses across Aceh province, one of the areas worst affected by the devastating 2004 tsunami.
Search and rescue crews using advanced life-detecting devices have been combing the rubble for any sign of movement, as hopes fade of finding any more survivors more than a day after the quake.
“These scan through the rubble to see if anyone’s alive or dead,” national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
The death toll stands at 102 but is expected to rise, he added. The figure has fluctuated as authorities identify the dead across the region. Meanwhile, humanitarian organisations descended on Indonesia’s Aceh province on Thursday as the government promised tons of emergency aid and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an earthquake that killed more than 100 people.
Volunteers and nearly 1,500 rescue personnel concentrated their search on the hard-hit town of Meureudu in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter of the magnitude-6.5 quake that hit before dawn Wednesday. Humanitarian assessment teams fanned out to other areas of the district.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had risen to 102 and warned it could increase. Search teams were using devices that detect mobile phone signals within a 100-meter (yard) radius to help guide their efforts as they scoured the rubble, he said.