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A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Aceh province of Indonesia, located in northern Sumatra, with relentless force on Wed., Dec. 7. The quake took a total of 100 lives, and the Board for Disaster Management in Jakarta say the number could possibly rise higher. Although the number of the injured reads more than 700, the amount continues to increase. More than 45,000 people are now homeless due to the damage done by the massive earthquake and 11,000 buildings such as schools, religious centers, homes, and business have since crumbled to the ground.
The Indonesian military has helped by setting up hospitals, shelters, and kitchens for the families affected by the destruction. Dogs are used for finding the lost and injured, along with rescue teams. Oxfam has also been distributing hygiene kits and medical attention as well as supplying rescue teams to the badly affected areas.
In addition, many children not been able to attend school due to the damage to their schools and classrooms. The earthquake caused wreckage to the schools, making them unfit for school use.
Although there are no signs of tsunami, many natives are fleeing to the hills to seek refuge. The devastating 2004 tsunami killed over 160,000 people in the Aceh province, and people fear it may happen again. However, no post-earthquake storm warnings have been issued.
Another earthquake this month happened two days later on Dec. 9. The quake struck 30 kilometers off the coast of the Solomon Islands, specifically the island of Makira. Tsunami warnings were published not long after the 7.8 earthquake, but were soon canceled because the largest wave at the time was only five inches tall. The earthquake lasted a total of five minutes.
Located in the Ring of Fire, earthquakes are not uncommon events, but the magnitude of this particular shake was unsettling to natives of the Solomon Islands. People braced their houses in anticipation for a dozen aftershocks in total, one of them measuring a shocking magnitude of 5.9.
Only one person has been declared injured, and no terrible damage has been done. Although buildings swayed and smaller establishments have fallen apart, most structures remained solid after the initial earthquake. The city of Honiara experienced a power outage and a locals said the earthquake “was one of the biggest and longest I have ever felt.” Some guests in one of Honiara’s biggest hotels felt as if they were floating or riding a wave.
(Sources: CNN, DW, Independent, ABC)