Nearly 100 dead in 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia

By Stephen Feller  |  Updated Dec. 7, 2016 at 10:33 AM
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ACEH, Indonesia, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- An earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province killed nearly 100 people and perhaps trapped others in the rubble of damaged buildings, emergency officials said Wednesday.

The 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit undersea off Sumatra Island Wednesday morning, about 12 miles from the town of Sigli, but no tsunami warning was issued by meteorological officials in Indonesia.

More than 300 people were injured during the earthquake and more than 280 buildings had been damaged, officials said. Heavy equipment was sent in and the search for survivors has gone into overdrive.

"The earthquake was felt strongly and many people panicked and rushed outdoors as houses collapsed," Sutopo Nugroho, a spokesperson for the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency, said in a statement.

At least 16 mosques and 170 homes and business in Pidie Jaya, which is about 37 miles from Sigli and appear to have been hit the worst by the quake. About 30 people were being treated at the hospital there, and patients were beginning to be sent to hospitals in Sigli not long after the earthquake.

The location of the quake was not far from an undersea earthquake in 2004 that caused a massive tsunami that killed 120,000 people.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it is located on the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, a line of fault lines and volcanoes causing frequent earthquakes and eruptions that circles the entire oceanic rim.

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