Magnitude-6.5 earthquake hits near Indonesian city of Banda Aceh


Rescuers in Aceh are still searching for more victims of an earthquake that has killed at least 30 people.
The magnitude-6.5 quake struck just before dawn in the regency of Pidie Jaya, about 120 kilometres south-east of the city of Banda Aceh.

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 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.

"I'm told that most place in Pidie are impacted, most of the shops are collapsed, wiped out, mosques are completely down," he said.
"I need all kinds of help. Medical supplies are being handled by the regency and provincial government, what we need is long term funds from the central government for rebuilding."

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

The injuries have overwhelmed the local medical centres 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.

 Earthquake splits road in Indonesia. December 7, 2016. 
PHOTO: The earthquake destroyed infrastructure. (Supplied: Indonesian Red Cross )
National disaster management agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said in a statement "the earthquake was felt strongly".

"Many people panicked and rushed outdoors as houses collapsed," he said.
Heavy equipment has been deployed for the effort to search for survivors.

Social media images showed buildings reduced to rubble, fallen electricity poles and people gathering outside at street corners.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 17 km on Aceh's north-eastern coast.

The Indonesian Red Cross said it expected more victims would be found throughout the day.

A number of aftershocks are still affecting the area.

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