The National Disaster Mitigation Agency has said that more than 45,000 people have been displaced by an earthquake that hit Aceh province on Wednesday (7 November). The 6.5 magnitude quake is thought to have killed more than 100 and destroyed over 11,000 buildings across the three districts near its epicentre.

The agency said the scale of the quake's destruction was becoming clearer as aid workers reached out into affected areas. The number of homeless had almost doubled from an estimated 23,000 on Friday. Shortly after the quake hit, the US Geological Survey said in its initial assessment there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage

As it coordinated efforts to assist those affected by the quake, the Agency said: "The basic need of refugees must be met during the evacuation."

The Pidie Jaya regency, on the coast towards the southern tip of the island, is thought to have been one of the worst-affected areas. Sniffer dogs were being used to search for bodies in the rubble of almost-flattened areas.

Indonesia is a particularly earthquake-prone region, because of its proximity to the fault lines of the pacific plate, also known as the "Ring of Fire." Earlier this year, in June, a 6.5 magnitude quake injured eight people when it hit the west of Sumatra. In 2004 more than 170,000 people were killed in Indonesia alone after an earthquake triggered a tsunami affecting several countries around the Indian Ocean.

The eastern edge of the plate runs alongside the west coast of the US and South America. On Thursday, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake was reported off the coast of California, which is on the San Andreas fault. At the time of the quake, there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Aceh earthquake, indonesia
Hospitals are finding it difficult to cope as more injuries result from the quakeAntara Foto/Ampelsa/via Reuters