An undersea earthquake off Indonesia’s northern Aceh province has killed at least 52 people on December 7, 2016.
The magnitude 6.5 quake struck just off the north-east coast of Sumatra island, where dozens of buildings have collapsed and many people are feared trapped under rubble.
Indonesia’s meteorological agency said there was no risk of a tsunami. In 2004, Aceh was devastated by a tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people in Indonesia alone.
A first video showing the damage of the strong quake:
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck just offshore at 05:03 local time (22:03 GMT Tuesday) at a depth of 17.2km.
At least 70 people have been seriously injured, officials said, and hundreds of minor injuries have been reported.
A spokesman for the national disaster agency said more than 200 shops and homes had been destroyed, along with 14 mosques. A hospital and school were also badly damaged.
Flat like paperboard:
The death toll could rise. Several children were among the dead and that local hospitals had been overwhelmed.
Patients have been placed on mattresses outside hospitals. Heavy equipment is being used to search for survivors. More people were needed to help because some staff are busy helping their own families. Authorities fear the death toll could rise because people are trapped in the rubble.
Pidie Jaya is along the north coast of Aceh, and has a population of about 150,000. It is about 110 km (68 miles) from the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.
Buildings, schools and even mosque have been destroyed by the heavy geological event.
Despair for a lot of residents and family members searching for survirors in the debris.
The quake shook Banda Aceh and prompted many people across the region to flee their homes. Many are said to be reluctant to go back indoors, amid a number of aftershocks.
A small tour through the city of Pidie Jaya:
Musman Aziz, who lives in the affected town Meureudu explains: “It was very bad, the tremors felt even stronger than (the) 2004 earthquake… I was so scared the tsunami was coming.”
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire – the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim. The island of Sumatra has been hit by several earthquakes this year.