Search and rescue operations are nearing an end in Indonesia's Aceh province where a devastating earthquake killed around 100 people and left several thousand homeless, authorities said on Friday (9 December).
The powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck at about 10km north of Reuleut in Banda Aceh at a depth of about 17.2km on Wednesday, toppling several buildings. It was one of the worst disasters to strike the region since the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
The country's national disaster management agency revised the death toll to 100 from the previously reported 102. "We believe we have found 99 percent of the victims," Reuters cited Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the agency as saying.
Rescue works continued in the market town of Meureudu in Aceh on Friday as it was the worst affected region, ABC reported. Sniffer dogs were sent in along with rescue team to find survivors. More than a dozen bodies were reportedly found in the market that collapsed during the quake.
Hundreds of people in Pidie Jaya regency in Aceh province had to hold Friday prayers outside of mosques as they were destroyed in the quake. President Joko Widodo joined in the prayers and visited victims in hospitals to survey the damage.
State of emergency has been declared in the region for two weeks and Widodo's government has vowed to provide aid for recovery efforts.
Major General Ben Rimba, a commander of the medical facility in Pidie Jaya told the ABC, that his biggest concern was illness that might follow as a result of the earthquake.
"What we are afraid of is what we call 'after the earthquake' because almost every hour there's still trembling," he said, referring to the aftershock. "Now the most common injury is bone fractures but in the weeks ahead it becomes about the public health, about diarrhoea and things like that."