Quake hits Indonesia; 82 people dead

The magnitude 6.3 quake also flattened hundreds of buildings in Sumatra.
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Published on Mar 06, 2007 12:21 PM IST
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AFP | By, Jakarta

At least 82 people were killed on Tuesday in a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked Indonesia's Sumatra island, a spokesman for the UN children's agency, UNICEF, said.

Many people had been injured, Solok mayor Samsurahim, who goes by one name, told ElShinta radio.

He said at least 65 people had been wounded and that four had been taken to hospital with broken bones, open wounds and head injuries.

"Several houses have collapsed. There are hundreds of victims," he said, adding that a school had been burnt to the ground after the quake.

Many people were trapped in collapsed buildings and there was no information about the situation at the quake's epicentre because phone lines were down, Utjin Sudiana, West Sumatra's police chief, told the agency.

"The epicentre is in Batusangkar but communication is disconnected from there so we don't know what the damage is," he told the agency.

The quake struck at 10:49 am, the US Geological Survey said, about 50 kilometres northeast of the West Sumatra capital Padang. Indonesian seismologists estimated a lower magnitude of 5.8.

It appeared to have been followed by an aftershock almost as strong.

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