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Powerful Aceh quake causes devastation

Landslides delay rescue efforts in Sumatra

Powerful Aceh quake causes devastation

Earthquake survivors are treated at a hospital in Lampahan Village in Aceh (AFP photo by Reza Juanda)

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

July 3, 2013

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A 6.1-magniture earthquake on Tuesday afternoon killed 22 people and left 210 injured in mountainous Central Aceh, Indonesia’s disaster management agency said on Wednesday.

Reports said that six children died and 14 were trapped when a mosque collapsed in the area, one of 1,500 buildings damaged by the tremor.

“We are not sure if there will be an increase in terms of dead victims and injured survivors,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the government’s disaster agency.

Rescue operations were underway as aftershocks of up to 5.5 magnitude were recorded on Tuesday evening, following the strong quake southwest of Bener Meriah district.

But reports said that landslides had blocked roads in some mountainous areas holding up soldiers and police involved in the rescue effort. No tsunami warning was reported.

Sumatra Island lies in one of the most seismically active regions of the world and is often hit by strong earthquakes.

In December, 2004, a powerful 9.1-magnitue earthquake struck off the coast of Aceh triggering a tsunami killing more than 200,000 people.

Last year, a strong quake in the area killed five people.

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