Indonesia quake: Girl dead, homes ruined

2013-01-22 09:00
People on motorcycles flee after a strong earthquake hit in Aceh, Indonesia. (Heri Juanda, AP)

People on motorcycles flee after a strong earthquake hit in Aceh, Indonesia. (Heri Juanda, AP)

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Banda Aceh - A strong, shallow earthquake rocked parts of western Indonesia early on Tuesday, killing a 9-year-old girl, panicking residents and ruining homes. Several other people were injured.

The magnitude-5.9 earthquake was centred southwest of the city of Banda Aceh and 6km beneath the earth's crust, according to the US Geological Survey. It was too far inland to generate a tsunami.

The quake hit about 05:22 (22:22 GMT on Monday), rattling people awake in towns and villages across the Sumatra island's northern tip. A magnitude-4.7 aftershock quake followed a few minutes later.

Sarjani Abdullah, the district head of Pidie, said a 9-year-old girl was found dead in the ruins of her home. At least seven other people, including a 3-year-old, suffered cuts and broken bones.

Aceh province's disaster mitigation agency said at least 30 houses and a mosque were ruined in Pidie Jaya district and hundreds of people were moved to temporary shelters as authorities surveyed the extent of the damage.

Fear of aftershocks

Some electricity poles were knocked down in Tangse village, crashing into homes and causing blackouts.

"It's scared us. ... We are still traumatised by the earthquake. My wife was screaming, my children crying," said Masriadi, a Tangse resident.

Fearing aftershocks, many people refused to go back inside for hours.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast archipelago prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant quake off the country on 26 December 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230 000 people, more than half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

- SAPA
Read more on:    indonesia  |  earthquakes
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