Indonesian earthquake shakes Sumatran city to its core

By Daily Maverick Legacy 2 October 2009

Padang remained a devastated city with burning fires, confused residents wandering the city and thousands of people reportedly trapped beneath collapsed buildings after a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck 50 kilometres out to sea from the city on the island of Sumatra. The quake has killed at least 529 people, but the death toll is almost certain to rise as rescuers dig through collapsed hospitals, offices, homes and a school. Yesterday morning, just as the airport was reopening and rescue teams were setting to work, a second quake, this time registering a 6.6 magnitude, struck 200 kilometres southeast of the first quake. Padang, a port city of 900,000, is on the west-central coast of Sumatra, along the notorious Ring of Fire, the network of earthquake-prone volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Basin.

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