terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So I wasn't dreaming...

At about 4 am this morning, when I was still awake and on WOW, I thought I felt the room I was in sway a little.

I looked over at the wooden window blinds immediately and they were moving slightly.

Then I told myself I've been awake more than 23 hours. I was preparing for the Remembering Tsunami show. I was grumpy. I had just put my foot in my mouth over multiple open MSN chats. It couldn't be happening. It had to be the paranoia brought about by sleep depravation and thinking too much about Thursday.

Especially not around this time again.

A cigarette calmed me down, but only until I saw this in today's CNA online:

Title : Seven dead, 150 injured in Indonesian earthquake
By :
Date : 18 December 2006 1920 hrs (SST)
URL : Link here

JAKARTA : A quake that struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra has killed at least seven people, injured 150 and brought down hundreds of homes, local officials and police said.

Three aftershocks sent residents rushing out of their homes in the region, where memories of the 2004 tsunami which devastated Aceh further to the north are still fresh.

Rescuers were trying to reach 20 villages which were cut off by landslides triggered by the 5.7-magnitude quake, police said Monday.

The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 4:39 am (2139 GMT Sunday), was 150 kilometres (95 miles) southeast of Sibolga at the relatively shallow depth of 17.7 kilometres, geologists said.

Eddy Syofian, information chief in the North Sumatra provincial government, said the death toll was seven with 150 injured, according to the detikcom news portal.

Police in Panyabungan bordering South and West Sumatra earlier said that a family of four was killed after their home collapsed in Tamiyang village some 65 kilometres away.

The quake also damaged a large number of homes while key roads were blocked by landslides, local police chief Rudi Sumarardiyanto told AFP.

"I'm unable to go to Tamiyang to get first-hand information on the situation. Local residents have come out to help clear the road and we have deployed two tractors," he said.

Some 20 villages out of 23 in the worst-hit district of Muara Sipongi were cut off, district police chief Pulongan told AFP.

The fate of the residents was unknown and officials had not been able to make contact with them, he said.

Pulongan said 250 homes were damaged and 16 people suffered minor injuries in the three villages which were accessible.

Electricity supplies had been cut and landslides and rain were hampering rescue operations by some 100 police and soldiers.

"We have set up temporary shelters for those who have lost their homes and are providing them food," he said.

The quake was also felt 540 kilometres away in Singapore, the city-state's environment agency said.

Singapore local radio reported receiving calls from residents who reported that their apartments were shaken by the tremor.

The quake followed just half an hour after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the north of Sumatra.

The first quake struck at 4:10 am with its epicentre under the Indian Ocean south-southwest of Banda Aceh.

"These are moderate earthquakes," said Budiwaluyo, head of the earthquake information unit with the meteorology headquarters here.

He said no tsunami warning was issued for the first quake as it was below 6.3-magnitude.

The Indonesian archipelago sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

Indonesia was the nation worst hit by the earthquake-triggered Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, which killed some 168,000 people in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra.

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake in July on the south coast of the main island of Java also killed more than 600 people.

- AFP/ms


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