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Indonesia: Earthquake Kills 22 And Hurts 200

An earthquake has killed at least 22 people and injured more than 200 in Indonesia.

The 6.1 magnitude quake damaged more than 1,500 houses and buildings in Aceh province.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured by a landslide or collapsing buildings in the worst-hit area of Bener Meriah.

He said 10 more people were killed and 140 injured in the neighbouring Central Aceh district, where around 1,500 houses and buildings were damaged.

Bener Meriah deputy district chief Rusli Saleh said rescuers were continuing to look for people trapped in the debris.

"We are now concentrating on searching for people who may be trapped under the rubble," he said.

Bensu Elianita, a 22-year-old resident of Bukit Sama village in Central Aceh district, said: "I see many houses were damaged and their roofs fell on to some people.

"Many people were injured, but it is difficult to evacuate them due to traffic jams."

She said people in the village ran out of their homes in panic and screamed for help. At least two houses were totally flattened, she said, and the village suffered a power cut.

The quake also caused concern among officials attending a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Medan, the capital of neighbouring North Sumatra province. They were escorted from the second-floor meeting room by security officers.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean.

In 2004, a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off Aceh triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries.