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45,000 left homeless after Indonesia quake
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Dec 10, 2016

Bride-to-be grieves for groom killed in Indonesian quake
Dayah Timu, Indonesia (AFP) Dec 9, 2016 - On her wedding day Yusra Fitriani wept as she laid a ceremonial rose-printed cloth over her bridal bed, the happiest day of her life turned to tragedy in a flash.

Instead of saying her wedding vows the young bride was grieving, her groom-to-be and seven members of his family crushed to death as they slept after a violent earthquake struck Aceh in Indonesia's west.

Her groom, Suharnas, was among the 100 killed when the shallow 6.5-magnitude quake ripped through the province at dawn Wednesday.

The quake felled homes and toppled mosques as many in the predominantly Muslim region were preparing to pray.

Those who pulled themselves from the rubble rushed to help their neighbours by hand, or limped to local hospitals that were quickly overwhelmed and appealing for aid.

Suharnas, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, sold watches at the marketplace beneath his home in Meureudu.

The small town was one of the hardest hit, with rescue crews confronted by scenes of utter destruction when they rushed to help those trapped.

When news reached Fitriani's father Muhammad Yunus that the Meureudu market had been destroyed, he raced to check on his future son-in-law, fearing the worst.

"As I approached the market, my heart was beating very fast," he told AFP.

"It turned out his home had collapsed."

Rescuers pulled seven members of his family from the rubble. All had travelled to Dayah Timu village for the wedding.

It wasn't until late afternoon that Suharnas' body was found.

The next day guests began arriving, some bearing gifts for the happy couple, unaware of the tragedy.

A cow had been purchased for the wedding feast, and handmade posters beamed "seeking your blessings" from the walls.

"Everything was set, the bridal table and tents with a capacity of 1000 guests," said Yunus.

Instead, guests were confronted by a grieving bride too distraught to talk and a family preparing for a funeral.

"Stay strong my child, this is a test from God," her mother Rajiati said, comforting her daughter in a room decorated for the wedding.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after a devastating earthquake in Indonesia killed more than 100 people, an official said Saturday, leaving communities in ruins as aid trickled into the disaster-stricken province.

"We have 45,300 people evacuating in several places as of Saturday morning," national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP, adding that the number of displaced had almost doubled since Friday due to an influx of new data.

The shallow 6.5-magnitude quake earlier this week levelled hundreds of homes, mosques and businesses across Aceh province, one of the areas worst affected by the devastating 2004 tsunami.

More than 700 people were injured in the quake, many seriously, according to the country's disaster agency.

Most of the displaced spent the night outdoors in tents near their ruined homes as hundreds refused to move into shelters fearing aftershocks, Nugroho added.

The army has established kitchens, shelters and a field hospital in the hard-hit town of Meureudu to help the region's overwhelmed health facilities.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Meureudu Friday, pledging to rebuild the area's devastated communities as he called on Indonesians to pray for their countrymen.

The archipelago nation experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.

A huge undersea earthquake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that engulfed several countries around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 170,000 people in Indonesia alone, the vast majority in Aceh.

The province lies on the northern tip of Sumatra island, which is particularly prone to quakes.

In June a 6.5-magnitude quake struck off the west of Sumatra, damaging scores of buildings and injuring eight people.

Quake shakes Croatia coast causing panic
Zagreb (AFP) Dec 9, 2016 - A moderate 4.6-magnitude earthquake caused panic but only minor damage after hitting Croatia's central Adriatic coast in the region of Split, officials said on Friday.

The quake hit a few minutes before 2:00 pm (1300 GMT), with the epicentre underwater some eight kilometers (five miles) west of Split, the country's seismological service said.

It was felt along the central coast and on nearby islands.

No one was injured in the quake while only minor damage, such as cracked walls or broken windows, was reported, Split mayor Ivo Baldasar said.

"Split had no major tremors in its history so we hope it will remain so," Baldasar told reporters.

Many panicked residents of Croatia's second largest town rushed into the streets or squares. Some parts of the town were briefly without power while schools and some public institutions were closed in the afternoon.

"The tremor was felt rather strongly, in our apartment all things fell from the shelves," one Split resident told online portal Index.

The most recent devastating quake in the Balkans hit the Macedonian capital Skopje in 1963. It killed around a thousand people.

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Previous Report
'Everything destroyed': Indonesians face quake destruction
Kuta Pangwa, Indonesia (AFP) Dec 8, 2016
When the earthquake struck before dawn, Marthonis and his family had no time to run out of their home before it collapsed into ruins around them. Pinned under concrete in the pitch dark, Marthonis - the chief of Kuta Pangwa village - was not alone. Every house in his small hamlet was flattened when a 6.5-magnitude quake tore through Aceh province in Indonesia's west, killing more than ... read more

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