25 aftershocks recorded after Aceh quake: Official

Lhokseumawe, Aceh  (ANTARA News) - Twenty five aftershocks were recorded by the Mata Ie (Aceh) meteorology station after an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit Pidie Jaya District in Aceh early on Wednesday.

The 25 aftershocks ranged from 3.3 to 4.4 on the Richter scale, Eridawati, chief of the Mata Ie station of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, told reporters.

The quake occurred at 5.03 am, at 5.25 north latitude and 96.24 east longitude in Pidie Jaya District in the Sumatran province of Aceh at a depth of 15 kilometers, Eridawati revealed.

"Data on damage to structures and the number of victims may still rise, given the massive destruction," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said at a press conference.

He noted that as of 1:10 pm, the death toll was 52, while 73 were seriously injured, and 200 lightly wounded. In addition, some 10,000 people were affected by the disaster.

"The victims include both children and adults," he declared.

In Bireuen District, two people died, three were seriously injured and 78 lightly wounded; 10,000 Islamic boarding school students were also affected.

Due to the disaster, 105 shops collapsed and 123 houses and 14 mosques were either heavily damaged or flattened. In Pidie Jaya, the regional hospital was heavily damaged, one school building collapsed, and cracks were found on several streets, he added.

In Bireun, two houses and a university campus building both collapsed, and one mosque and 35 houses suffered heavy damage.(*)