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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Over one thousand die in Sumatran earthquake

Two earthquakes struck near the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. The first measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale. The second measured 6.8. The death toll is rising rapidly with news reports showing an increase of over 300 confirmed dead in just 20 minutes.

Quake toll 1,100, set to worsen: UN (ABC)
Rescuers spent the night frantically trying to free victims from earthquake rubble in the Indonesian city of Padang ,as the United Nations said the death toll from Wednesday's quake had passed 1,000 people.

United Nations humanitarian chief John Holmes said 1,100 people had been confirmed dead and warned that the toll was likely to worsen. Earlier, Indonesia's social affairs ministry said at least 770 people were dead and 2,400 injured, 300 seriously.

Wednesday afternoon's 7.6-magnitude quake toppled buildings and led to fires in Padang, home to nearly 1 million people on the coast of Sumatra, leaving the city largely without power and communications.

The first rescue flights laden with food, medicine and body bags arrived yesterday, as the area was jolted by a second powerful quake.
Sumatra earthquake Indonesia earthquake 2009 more than 500 dead (Khabrein)

The 7.9-magnitude quake struck close to the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province.

Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's disaster centre in Jakarta, said thousands of people were still trapped under the rubble in the city of Padang which has a population of 900,000.

Indonesian authorities predict the quake death toll to rise further due to lack of accurate reports on casualties and damage owing to disconnection with tremor-hit areas.

Wednesday's quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
Indonesia quake devastation - 1 Oct 09 (Al Jazeera)
(Warning some images are graphic)

Video: Second Quake Hits Indonesia and relief effort in Samoa (CBS)

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