Terrifying earthquakes in Indonesia have killed nearly 100 people, destroyed dozens of buildings and left thousands of people in fear for their life to take refugue in mosques overnight.

Some have been made homeless after the devastating tremor, while others fear that they could be injured in aftershocks if they remain in their own homes.

The region of Aceh is no stranger to earthquakes. On Boxing Day 2004, a huge 9.1-magnitude earthquake sparked off a tsunami which killed more than 100,000 Acehnese people. The chief of the army in the province, Tatang Sulaiman reported that at least 97 people had been killed in this most recent 6.5-magnitude tremor which struck just before dawn on Wednesday.

Four people have miraculously been pulled alive by rescuers from collapsed buildings. The government has now declared an official emergency period in the region and help and aid has started to be sent to the hardest hit areas.

Rescue efforts

Thousands of officials, soldiers, police officers and local residents are being coordinated in search efforts. The worst effected town is understood to be Meureudu near the epicenter of the quake. Equipment has been moved in to help to remove debris to find survivors believed to still be alive under rubble.

Rescuers are moving from building to building searching for bodies or any signs of life. However, search efforts have been hampered by heavy rain, nightfall and power cuts.

The tremor was centred close to the northern tip of Sumatra and was at a depth of 11 miles. The agency had, at first, thought that the epicenter was under the sea. Thankfully, no tsunami has been triggered this time round.

Fifty one year old mother of four Siti Rukiah was among those who had taken refuge in mosques and temporary shelters. She said she had come from Pante Raja near the sea, but had fled to Nur Abdullah mosque which is on higher ground because she and her family were worried about the potential of a tsunami.


Published by Elizabeth

A journalist from the South West of England, Elizabeth specialises in writing about politics, health and technology.