Aftershocks drive Indonesians from homes

2016-12-13 17:01
Women are reflected in a motorbike's mirror as they walk towards a damaged building in Pidie Jaya. (Heri Juanda, AP)

Women are reflected in a motorbike's mirror as they walk towards a damaged building in Pidie Jaya. (Heri Juanda, AP)

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Jakarta - The number of people displaced by last week's earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province has jumped to more than 85 000 as aftershocks drive people from their homes, the disaster agency said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there have been nearly 90 aftershocks since last Wednesday's magnitude 6.5 earthquake.

"People are afraid and worried about the aftershocks and feel safer in the shelters," he said.

Providing clean water is still a top priority because many wells were damaged by the quake and their water is now undrinkable, Nugroho said.

Nearly 5 000 relief personnel are part of the disaster response concentrated on three districts in northeast Aceh.

The earthquake killed 102 people and injured nearly 900 others. It destroyed or damaged more than 11 000 buildings, mainly homes, but also schools and dozens of mosques.

The search for survivors has effectively ended and the focus in flattened towns is clearing up debris.

Killer quakes occur regularly in the region, where many live with the terrifying memory of a giant December 26 2004, earthquake that struck off Sumatra. The magnitude 9.1 quake triggered a devastating tsunami that killed more than 100 000 Acehnese.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  earthquakes

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