06 March, 2007

Deadly Earthquake in Indonesia

A powerful earthquake has struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 70 people and flattening hundreds of buildings. The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 6.3, and was centred near the town of Padang.

There are fears the death toll may be higher as many people are believed to have been trapped beneath rubble. The quake struck at 1049 local time (0349 GMT), causing panic among residents in western Sumatra.

A strong aftershock - magnitude 6.0 according to the US Geological Survey - struck two hours later causing further damage and panic.

An Indonesian government spokesman, Sudi Silalahi said 70 people had been killed.


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