Death toll from Indonesian earthquake rises to 30
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BLANG MANCUNG, Indonesia -- The death toll from an earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province earlier this week has reached 30, and police and soldiers are searching the debris for another 12 people believed missing, officials said Thursday.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the main focus of recovery efforts Thursday was to search for more victims, assist the injured and provide supplies for those in need. He said 275 people were injured and more than 4,300 houses and buildings damaged in Tuesday's magnitude-6.1 quake.
Jarwansyah, who heads the Aceh provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency, said 6,500 displaced people were staying at 35 temporary shelters in both Central Aceh and Bener Meriah districts. He said many others were staying in tents outside their houses.
Nugroho said the items needed most by the displaced people were tents, blankets, mats, clothing and food supplies. He said the Social Ministry had dispatched 30 tons of rice and other supplies from the provincial and district governments.
Subhan Sahara of the local mitigation agency in Bener Meriah said the quake triggered landslides in at least 15 locations, covering roads and isolating nine villages. He said rescuers were trying to reach the villages.
Earthquakes frequently rattle Indonesia, which 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.
Associated Press writers Ali Kotarumalos and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.
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