Rescuers scrabble for survivors as Indonesia quake kills 97

Rescuers scrabble for survivors as Indonesia quake kills 97

"These scan through the rubble to see if anyone's alive or dead", national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

"The death toll now stands at 97 people, it is still expected to go up but we believe the worst is over", Tatang Sulaiman, military chief of Aceh command area, said. He said almost two dozen bodies were pulled from the market debris the day before. Only later did she realize the explosion-like sound was an adjacent row of 20 shop houses collapsing.

Almost 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck northeast Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday. Rescue efforts are reportedly hampered by aftershocks as strong as magnitude five.oh, as well as rain and power outages.

A state of emergency has been declared for two weeks in Aceh, which is located on the northern tip of Sumatra island, an area often hit by earthquakes.

No tsunami followed Wednesday's quake, but at least 12 aftershocks were recorded, officials said. Aid groups and others are also appealing for donations. Hasbi Jaya, who pulled his two children unconscious from the rubble of their home, said: "Everything was destroyed". We took the beds out because nobody is daring to enter the hospital, he said.

Suprasetyo said the airlines were ready to deliver any logistics that needed to be distributed to quake victims in Aceh, and they would take turns carrying out the humanitarian mission every day. His agency put the death toll at 94.

A map showing the location of the magnitude-6.5 natural disaster that hit the Aceh province in Indonesia. Humanitarian organizations descended on Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday as the government in Jakarta promised tons of emergency aid and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an quake that killed more than 100 people.

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"Every aid and civil society organisation is piling into the area with as many boxes of rice, instant noodles, blankets and other aid as they can shift, " said Mr Paul Dillon, a spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which has an assessment team in northern Aceh.

On Thursday, Indonesia's national disaster management agency set the death toll at 102 with at least 700 injured and thousands left without a roof over their heads. The rest were mainly dwellings and shops. More than 100 000 people died in Aceh after the December 26, 2004, quake triggered a devastating tsunami. The agency had initially placed the epicentre undersea. They stayed there for several hours until authorities reassured them there was no tsunami risk.

"It terrified me. I was having difficulty breathing or walking", said Abidin. 'I was having difficulty breathing or walking. "We have prepared everything, people from the village have been coming to help since the weekend".

In the coastal town of Sigli, people panicked and fled their houses to seek shelter away from the sea. Abidin is traumatized because she believes three friends were buried in building collapses.

Mulyadi, the deputy chief of the worst-hit Pidie Jaya district, said they were in desperate need of medicine and extra hands to treat the injured.

Indonesia's TVOne station, citing the acting governor of Aceh, Soedarmo, says 20 people have died.

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