An emergency operation is continuing across the Indonesian island of Sumatra after a powerful earthquake that left at least 70 people dead. Large numbers have been left homeless after buildings across the island collapsed. Scores of people were believed trapped under rubble, prompting the government to send in the military to assist with rescue efforts
The West Sumatra provincial capital Padang felt the full force of the first shock which hit at 11 am local time and measured 6.3 on the Richter scale. Two hours later a second quake struck. The government and Red Cross have been distributing food supplies, medicines and tents. Fears that a tsunami would follow have not been borne out. Earthquakes are frequent in Indonesia. Its 17,000 islands sprawl along a belt of intense volcanic and seismic activity called the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”
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