23 March 2018

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09/12/2007 INDONESIA

Tsunami alert issued after undersea quake strikes 100 kilometres off the Sumatra coast

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck a few hours ago. It was felt as far as 2,000 kilometres away from the epicentre. Many buildings have been damaged and power is out. Muslims are particularly affected since tonight it is the start of Ramadan.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian government  has issued a tsunami alert to all residents living along the coastal region of Bengkulu in West  Sumatra, following a huge earthquake that rocked the province with a jolt measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale at about 18.10 pm local time (11.10 am GMT). But it was lifted an hour later. Still tensions remain high and residents are afraid to go home.

This strong quake also hit Padang in North Sumatra Province, the provincial capital of Palembang in South Sumatra Province, and Jakarta—some of 2,000 kilometres from Bengkulu.

The epicentre was only about 15 kilometres (nine miles) under the sea, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) south-west of the city of Bengkulu,

Eyewitnesses told AsiaNews that the quake seemed even stronger than the one that caused the 2004 tsunami which flattened Nias Island in North Sumatra spreading its destructive force across the Indian Ocean.

At present only two deaths were reported in Padang but eyewitnesses said that a number of buildings have suffered major damages, and that power is out.

Residents have fled their homes, finding refugee outdoors, far from damaged buildings.

Despite the lifting of the alert people still refuse to return home. “I’d rather stay outside,” said Berta Iin Esthi, a professor at Bengkulu University.

“This is not really a good time,” a Muslim resident told AsiaNews. “Tonight Ramadan starts,” he said.

In Islam Ramadan is a holy month during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, and gather to feast once the sun has set.

See also

A year after the tsunami, Susilo prays with survivors in Banda Aceh
Aceh's reconstruction is slow going for lack of materiel such as bricks and lumber. Rebuilding Nias Island will take another ten years.

30/03/2005 INDONESIA
Christians mobilise to help Nias quake victims
Capuchin friars and Clarisse nuns are leading in relief work on behalf of quake victims. Convents have become relief centres whilst religious men and men volunteer to help.

11/08/2017 19:25:00 INDONESIA
Indonesian Church ordains 18 new priests

Ordinations took place on the same day in remote locations to promote vocations among local youth. Five priests and three deacons were ordained in Belitang (South Sumatera). Mgr John Liku Ada, archbishop of Makassar, consecrated seven diocesan priests in Rantepao (South Sulawesi). In Kabanjahe (North Sumatera), five new diocesan priests and one from the Order of the Holy Cross were consecrated.

29/03/2005 INDONESIA
Indonesian Vice President estimates number of victims to reach 2,000
Around 1,000 people are confirmed dead on Nias Island, but government fears death toll might be twice as much.

29/03/2005 INDONESIA
Bare hands to dig out victims from the rubbles in Nias earthquake
Protestants volunteers and Catholic nuns work with Muslims to cope with the emergency. Nias capital, world-famous for its surfing, is 80 per cent destroyed. President Susilo will visit site tomorrow.

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