Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seven dead in Sumatra earthquake (BBC)

An earthquake has struck Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing at least seven people and wounding around 100 others.

Hundreds of homes were also reported to have been destroyed when the 5.7 magnitude quake hit just before dawn.

Frightened people fled their homes as a series of aftershocks followed the quake, which was felt in northern and western parts of the island.

Half an hour earlier, a 5.8 magnitude quake struck north of Sumatra, in the Indian Ocean south-west of Banda Aceh.

No tsunami warning was issued on this occasion, officials said.

However, villages were reported to have been cut off as the earthquake triggered landslides, hampering rescue operations.

The region was worst hit when a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the Sumatran coast in December 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people around the Indian Ocean.


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