45,000 left home­less af­ter In­done­sia quake

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple have been dis­placed af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake in In­done­sia killed more than 100 peo­ple, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, leav­ing com­mu­ni­ties in ru­ins as aid trick­led into the dis­as­ter-stricken prov­ince. “We have 45,300 peo­ple evac­u­at­ing in sev­eral places as of Saturday morn­ing,” na­tional dis­as­ter agency spokesman Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho told AFP, adding that the num­ber of dis­placed had al­most dou­bled since Fri­day due to an in­flux of new data.

The shal­low 6.5-mag­ni­tude quake ear­lier this week lev­eled hun­dreds of homes, mosques and busi­nesses across Aceh prov­ince, one of the ar­eas worst af­fected by the dev­as­tat­ing 2004 tsunami. More than 700 peo­ple were in­jured in the quake, many se­ri­ously, ac­cord­ing to the coun­try’s dis­as­ter agency. Most of the dis­placed spent the night out­doors in tents near their ru­ined homes as hun­dreds re­fused to move into shel­ters fear­ing af­ter­shocks, Nu­groho added.

The army has es­tab­lished kitchens, shel­ters and a field hos­pi­tal in the hard­hit town of Meureudu to help the re­gion’s over­whelmed health fa­cil­i­ties. In­done­sian Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo vis­ited Meureudu Fri­day, pledg­ing to re­build the area’s dev­as­tated com­mu­ni­ties as he called on In­done­sians to pray for their coun­try­men. The ar­chi­pel­ago na­tion ex­pe­ri­ences fre­quent seis­mic and vol­canic ac­tiv­ity due to its po­si­tion on the Pa­cific “Ring of Fire”, where tec­tonic plates col­lide.

A huge un­der­sea earth­quake in 2004 trig­gered a tsunami that en­gulfed sev­eral coun­tries around the In­dian Ocean, killing more than 170,000 peo­ple in In­done­sia alone, the vast ma­jor­ity in Aceh.

The prov­ince lies on the north­ern tip of Su­ma­tra is­land, which is par­tic­u­larly prone to quakes. In June a 6.5-mag­ni­tude quake struck off the west of Su­ma­tra, dam­ag­ing scores of build­ings and in­jur­ing eight peo­ple. — AFP

ACEH: Po­lice of­fi­cers help clear rub­ble at the ruin of a mosque col­lapsed in Wed­nes­day’s earth­quake. — AP

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