Jakarta. At least 52 people were killed and 273 others injured in an earthquake which hit Pidie Jaya district, Aceh, in the early hours of Wednesday (07/12), the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, said.
BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said as of 1.10 p.m., 52 people have died, 73 suffered major injuries and 200 others suffered light injuries due to the 15-second long quake.
“The figures are expected to increase as many victims are still trapped under the debris,” Sutopo told a press briefing in Jakarta.
At least 105 shop houses, 125 homes and 14 mosques were destroyed by the quake, while a hospital and a school were also heavily damaged in the province.
Three excavators have been deployed to help evacuation in Pidie Jaya.
Most fatalities were caused by collapsing homes, Sutopo said.
Thousands of personnel from the Search and Rescue Agency, BNPB, Indonesian Military, National Police, Disaster Response Team, Red Cross Indonesia and volunteers have been deployed to help evacuation and search efforts.
“The president has instructed quick response on the quake. The priority is to search and rescue the victims,” Sutopo said.
BNPB head Willem Rampangilei and Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki are heading to Aceh to monitor the search efforts at the request of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
The 6.4.-magnitude quake struck Pidie Jaya district at 05.03 a.m. The tremors were also felt in Banda Aceh and in Meulaboh, West Aceh district.
At least 12 aftershocks were recorded following the quake, the highest measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale. No tsunami warning has been issued.