Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Sumatra quake deaths surge over 1,000

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-10-02

The death toll from the major earthquake in Indonesia has risen to at least 1,100 and is likely to worsen, UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said Thursday. Many districts remain inaccessible to emergency services.

Indonesian rescue teams scrambled to reach survivors trapped under rubble Thursday after a series of powerful earthquakes devastated the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, killing more than 1,100 people according to the UN's humanitarian chief John Holmes.


“Aid is starting to flow and the government is acting quite swiftly. Already 10 million dollars have been allocated for emergency relief,” said Solenn Honorine, an RFI correspondent for FRANCE 24 in Jakarta.

Indonesian officials announced 770 confirmed deaths earlier in the day. The 7.6-magnitude tremor hit barely an hour before the sunset, cutting most power lines and communications in the city of one million inhabitants and hampering rescue efforts in the first crucial hours.

On Thursday, another powerful quake struck 225 kilometres south-east of the devastated area, sending panic-stricken residents fleeing.

Rustam Pakaya, the head of health ministry’s crisis centre, told AFP news agency that major buildings had collapsed, including a city hospital, and that thousands of people were trapped under the rubble.

“The damage is very widespread. The biggest marketplace of Padang has collapsed. The university has broken down, and several hotels have also collapsed,” said Honorine.

The chief social welfare minister, Aburizal Bakrie, told the Reuters news agency that the damage could be similar to that caused by a 2006 quake in the central Java city of Yogyakarta that killed 5,000 people and damaged 150,000 homes.

“This earthquake occurred near densely populated areas, near a city, whereas in Indonesia catastrophes tend to happen in rural areas where it’s usually easier to get help – so it could well be a tricky rescue effort,” said Honorine.

Padang sits on one of the world’s most active fault lines along the “Ring of Fire”, where the Indo-Australia plate grinds against the Eurasia plate, triggering regular tremors and sometimes quakes. Geologists have long warned Padang may one day be destroyed by a huge earthquake because of its location.

Date created : 2009-10-01

COMMENT(S)