Sunday, October 4, 2009

Officials:"Indonesia quake toll could soar"

JAKARTA, Indonesia-Another strong earthquake rocked Indonesia early Thursday as the Southeast Asian nation was reeling from an earlier jolt that killed more than 200 people.The 6.8 magnitude quake Thursday hit southern Sumatra at 8:52 a.m. local time (0152 GMT), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Wednesday's earlier quake was 7.6 magnitude.At least 236 people are dead and more than 500 injured, the Indonesian Social Ministry's Crisis Center said Thursday. It said it had little information on the missing and feared the death toll would climb into the thousands.The second quake was on a smaller scale than the first, said meteorology official Fauzi, who uses only one name.There were no damage reports yet.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari expected "the casualties and the damage of this earthquake to be bigger than the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, given the intensity and the spread of the damage."The magnitude-6.3 Yogyakarta quake in central Java in May 2006 killed more than 5,000 people, triggered fears of an eruption of a nearby volcano and caused significant damage to a 9th century Prambanan temple.Thousands may be trapped by collapsed buildings and houses, Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Health Ministry's crisis center, told CNN on Wednesday....

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