6.7 Quake Hits Aceh, No Tsunami

An earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Aceh yesterday morning. The tremor was also felt in North Sumatra. Until this news went to print, two people were reportedly killed in the earthquake. The epicenter of the quake was located 59 km northeast of Singkil Baru.

Yendi, a Singkil resident, said that people panicked and stayed away from the sea. “They were worried there would be a tsunami,” he said. The Acehnese are still traumatized by the tsunami on December 26, 2004.

“Thousands of residents sought refuge in Rimo, Mt. Meriah,” Aceh Singkil Police chief, Comm. Helmi Kwarta Kesuma Raup told Tempo yesterday.

Helmi said one person was reportedly killed in Simpang Kiri. Singkil Disaster Management Agency head, Henray Silalahi, said that several homes and government offices had been damaged. “The rest have minor damages,” he added.

The earthquake also damaged three regencies in North Sumatra; Pakpak Bharat, Dairi and Humbang Hasundutan, and killed one resident.

Social Minister Salim Segaf Al-Jufrie said the ministry was ready to provide assistance to the victims. “We have buffer stock for two weeks. We have the funds to cover tents, evacuation and food for two weeks. We’ve prepared everything,” he said in Jakarta yesterday, adding the fund amounted to Rp1 billion.

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