Wednesday, March 07, 2007

MORE PICS - 6.3 & 6.1 POWERFUL QUAKES (6th Mar 07) HIT West SUMATRA Within 2 Hrs; So Far 70 Killed; Solok & Padang Hardest Hit

Indonesia Hit by Two Quakes; At Least 70 People Dead (Update2) By Karima Anjani and Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Two earthquakes greater than magnitude 6 struck Indonesia's Sumatra island within two hours, killing at least 70 people and destroying houses and shops, presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said. A magnitude 6.3 quake struck west Sumatra at 10:49 a.m. local time 49 kilometers (30 miles) north-northeast of Padang city and 424 kilometers southwest of Singapore, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A second quake of magnitude 6.1 hit the same area two hours later.

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: Make shift hospital in Solok and BELOW: Make shift tent hospital in Padang

Powerful Indonesian earthquake kills 70
By ZAKKI HAKIM, Associated Press Writer

SOLOK, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake jolted western Indonesia on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people and injuring hundreds as they fled shaking hotels, homes and hospitals. Two children were crushed by debris on a playground. The 6.3-magnitude quake struck Sumatra island just before 11 a.m. and was felt as far away as neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, where some tall buildings were evacuated. Several aftershocks followed, the strongest measuring 6.1, adding to fears of people already too nervous to return indoors.

ABOVE: Shelter in Street is safer than in the house in Solok with the aftershocks BELOW: The tent hospital in Solok

Many said they would sleep in front of their homes or in the hills Tuesday night. "Women were crying out in terror. We all just fled as quickly as we could," said Alpion, a welder who joined thousands of others running to higher ground, fearing a tsunami that never came. Indonesia straddles one of the world's most seismically active zones and has been hit by a string of natural disasters in recent years, the most deadly being the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed 160,000 people on Sumatra's northern tip. At least 70 people were killed by Tuesday's quake, which hit the island's western coast, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi told reporters in the capital, Jakarta.

ABOVE & BELOW: The collapsed buildings in Solok, West Sumatra

The hardest-hit area appeared to be Solok, a bustling town close to the epicenter, where two children were killed when a two-story building collapsed on the school playground, said police spokesman Supriadi, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. In addition, three members of one family were burned alive when their collapsed home burst into flames. Dozens of buildings were destroyed and hundreds of others were damaged, according to local police chief Lt. Col. Budi Sarwono.

ABOVE: The damaged Mosque in Solok and BELOW: Collapsed building with roof intact

TV footage showed a flattened three-story home and wide cracks in the road. "My house is on the brink of collapse," said Imelda Kusmawati, as she prepared to spend the night in an army tent with her two children and six other families. "I am still traumatized and worried about aftershocks." Patients poured into hospitals in Solok, many with broken bones and cuts, but most were treated outside because of fears of more quakes. Scores were laid out on cots on a soccer field, where they were attached to intravenous drips and given emergency care. "So far we have recovered 19 bodies and hundreds of injured people," Sarwono said of the toll in Solok. "The two hospitals are overwhelmed."

At one hospital in the nearby seaside town of Padang, panicked doctors and nurses fled into the street, startled patients limping behind, according to Metro TV. Electricity remained cut in parts of the town as darkness fell.

ABOVE & BELOW: Town of Payahkumbuh - several shops in the main street had collapsed

A witness in the town of Payahkumbuh said several shops in the main street had collapsed and police and soldiers were digging for survivors. Government spokesman Hasrul Piliang said the number of dead "would likely rise" because tallies from remote areas were still being collected and there were reports of other people trapped under debris. The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor struck 20 miles below Solok. It was felt in Singapore, 265 miles away, forcing the evacuation of several older office buildings. In

Malaysia's southern coastal city of Johor, citizens fled offices, buildings and shopping centers, witnesses said. U.S. earthquake expert Kerry Sieh was in Padang on a research trip when the quake struck. He fled his fourth-story hotel room like other guests, stopping only to unplug his laptop.” I was pretty scared," he said, adding that the fault that spawned the quake was known as the Great Sumatran, which last ruptured in 1945. "I now know why people have a hard time remembering how long earthquakes last. ”Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. In addition to the 2004 tsunami, an earthquake killed nearly 5,000 on Java island last year. Tuesday’s quake was about 660 miles west of the Jakarta.

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March 06, 2007 22:58 PM

Two Quakes In West Sumatra Kill 70

By Mohd Nasir Yusoff

JAKARTA, March 6 (Bernama) -- At least 70 people were killed and hundreds of others injured after two earthquakes of 5.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale occurred in West Sumatara of Indonesia Tuesday. The quakes, which occurred at 10.49 am and 12.49 pm (local time), claimed lives in Tanah Datar, Solok and Padang Panjang, said Indonesian Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has directed the army commander and the police chief to deploy their personnel and equipment to assist in the search and rescue operation, he told reporters at the presidential office here. The death toll is a preliminary figure because police in Padang, the capital of the province, expect it to rise once the search and rescue operation gets underway. A spokesman of the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysics Agency here told Bernama the first quake occurred at 10.49 am at coordinates 0.55 degrees south and 100.4 degrees east with an intensity of 5.8 magnitude, about 16 km southwest of Batu Sangkar and at a depth of 33 km on land. The quake caused tremors that were also felt in Riau, Jambi and Medan in Sumatra as well as in Singapore and Johor and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, he said.

ABOVE: Workers in Singapore's financial district waiting to return to offices to work after the 1st quake.

He said the second quake occurred at 12.49 pm at coordinates 0.47 degrees south and 100.49 degrees east with an intensify of 5.8 magnitude, about 11 km southwest of Batu Sangkar and at a depth of 23 km, also on land. Local television and radio stations reported that among the dead were four schoolchildren, who were burnt to death after their collapsed school building caught fire. Many others were killed by falling buildings and cracks appeared on many administrative offices, shopping complexes and hotels.

The Elshinta all-news radio reported that minor quakes continued to occur until this evening and many residents along the road from Padang to the Solok sub-district, which was worst-affected by the quakes, have moved to stay in temporary tents along the road.

Antara news agency reported that many road links between Padang and several areas had been cut off or covered by the rubble of collapsed buildings, including the Padang-Solok, Padang-Bukit Tinggi and Padang-Padang Panjang roads

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March 06, 2007 15:00 PM

KL, JB Experience Tremor From Sumatra's Quake

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 (Bernama) -- Several areas in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baharu experienced a tremor said to be caused by an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter which jolted Indonesia's south-west Sumatra this morning. The tremor was felt at high rise buildings in the two areas following the quake at 11.49 am Tuesday, said the Meteorological Department in a statement today. It said the moderate quake which happened 65km south-west of Padang, Sumatra, 372km south west of Melaka did not pose any tsunami threat. Meanwhile, the tremor was also felt at the fifth, 14th and 15th floors of Bernama building and the staff came down to assemble at the lobby of the building. Bernama Corporate Communication Manager Hasnita Tamin said she and other staff were shaken when the office vibrated for a short while. "The computers in the office were shaking and we all rushed down to the lobby," she said.

ABOVE: Workers in a Johor Bahru office complex returning back to work

In JOHOR BAHARU, a tremor was felt at high rise buildings in the heart of the city at noon today. Scores of people rushed down from the Tun Abdul Razak Complex (Komtar), the tallest building here as well as from the federal government complex and the Larkin flats. A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman said it had yet to receive any report on the tremor but had mobilised firemen to be on the lookout. Singapore was also reported to have experience a tremor at a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter scale while Johor Baharu 5.0.


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