Evacuation of Aceh quake victims continues

The evacuation of victims of Wednesdays deadly 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pidie Jaya District, Aceh Province, will continue for the second day on Thursday.

National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Al-Husain at the disaster relief command post in Pidie Jaya said on Thursday that many quake victims were still trapped in the ruins of collapsed buildings.

Al-Husain stressed he could not confirm the number of victims still buried under the ruins, but the evacuation team continues to search for them by using excavators.

"In the Meureudu and Meurah Dua areas, there are still victims buried under the ruins, so the evacuation process will continue," he stated.

The powerful earthquake shook Aceh Province on the western tip of Sumatra at 5:03 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

"The earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale, took place at 5:03 a.m. Its epicenter was located at 5.19 northern latitude, 96.36 eastern longitude, some 18 kilometers northeast of Pidie Jaya District, and at a depth of 10 kilometers," Al-Husain continued.

People in the districts of Pidie Jaya, Pidie, Aceh Besar, Sabang, Bireun, and Lhokseumawe felt the strong tremors of the earthquake.

The quake was also felt on an island at the westernmost point of Indonesia. Many residents had rushed out of their houses.

The quake has no potential to trigger a tsunami, but the people have been called on to remain alert for aftershocks.

Iskandar Muda Military Commander Major General Tatang Suherman said 92 people have died and more than 200 others were seriously injured as a result of the 6.4-magnitude earthquake.

However, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said data on the damage to structures and the number of victims could still continue to rise, given the massive destruction.

Source: Philippines News Agency