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At least 100 likely dead in Indonesia quake: official

world Updated: Sep 07, 2009 12:53 IST

At least 100 people were likely killed by a major 7.0-magnitude quake that rocked Indonesia's main island of Java last week, an official said on Monday.

Authorities had confirmed 74 were killed in the quake, which struck off the south coast of Java on Wednesday, disaster management agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono told AFP.

Another 34 people were also believed buried and likely dead under tonnes of boulders and earth by an earthquake-triggered landslide in the West Java village of Cikangkareng 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of the capital Jakarta, Kardono said.

"The bodies will be crushed if we use heavy machinery like excavators," he said, adding bulldozers were being used to help to clear away rubble.

"We have no other way but to search for the bodies manually, clearing away big rocks by hand and using the help of sniffer dogs to detect them, but it takes too much time."

Over 88,000 people have been left homeless by the quake, which badly damaged over 54,000 homes and buildings and was felt as far afield as neighbouring Bali and Sumatra islands, Kardono said.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where several tectonic plates converge.

A 7.7-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami off southern Java in 2006, killing 596 people and displacing about 74,000.

A massive quake off the coast of the island of Sumatra in 2004 triggered a catastrophic tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people around Asia, including 168,000 in Indonesia.