At least 43,000 homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia

Government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities.

world Updated: Dec 10, 2016 10:50 IST
AP, Jakarta, Indonesia
Aceh province,Indonesia earthquake,Disaster management
Indonesian women and children displaced by an earthquake rest under a tent in Pidie Jaya, Aceh province, on December 9, 2016. The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake levelled hundreds of homes, mosques and businesses across Aceh province, one of the areas worst affected by the destructive 2004 tsunami.(AFP)

At least 43,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia’s Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities.

The estimate of the number of homeless people continues to grow while relief efforts fan out across the three districts near the epicenter of Wednesday’s magnitude 6.5 quake, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement

“The basic needs of refugees must be met during the evacuation,” it said.

A man retrieves fans from a collapsed shop following a strong earthquake in Meureudu, Pidie Jaya, Aceh province, Indonesia. (Reuters)

Humanitarian groups are now coordinating their efforts from a main command post in the worst affected district Pidie Jaya, the agency said.

At least 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in the quake, which also destroyed or damaged more than 11,000 buildings. The displaced are staying in temporary shelters and mosques or with relatives.

On Saturday, sniffer dogs were again used in the search for bodies and possible survivors in the devastated town of Meureudu, where a market filled with shop houses was largely flattened. Four other locations in Pidie Jaya are also the focus of search efforts.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo traveled Friday to worst-hit areas of the province and promised to rebuild communities.

First Published: Dec 10, 2016 10:50 IST