Magnitude-6.5 earthquake hits near Indonesian city of Banda Aceh

Baku, December 7, AZERTAC

The death toll from a magnitude-6.5 quake that struck in Indonesia's Aceh province has jumped to 97, according to

The quake struck just before dawn in the regency of Pidie Jaya, about 120 kilometers south-east of the city of Banda Aceh, the region's army chief said.

The pre-dawn quake was felt for about 15 seconds and by the time it was over around 100 buildings had collapsed including 72 combined shops and dwellings, 15 houses, five mosques, a petrol station and a school.

The death toll had previously been reported as 54.

Major General Tatang Suliaman told local media the toll had jumped to 97 after rescuers pulled more bodies from the rubble.

He said there could be four or five people still buried, but did not say whether they were alive.

The local hospital in Pidie Jaya was damaged, and survivors are being sent to Banda Aceh for treatment.

Regency head Aiyub Abbas said that heavy equipment had been brought into the area to help move the rubble to search for survivors.

Emergency services are still searching the damaged buildings for more victims and survivors.

The injuries have overwhelmed the local medical centers and survivors are being moved to hospitals in nearby cities.

The worst-hit area was about 120km south-east of Banda Aceh, the city devastated by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. There was no tsunami this morning.


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