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Indonesian rescuers search for survivors after 6.2 . earthquake

Rescue teams in Indonesia were looking for six people still missing on Saturday after a massive earthquake that rocked the island of Sumatra a day earlier, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens, an official said.

The 6.2-magnitude quake struck the north of the island at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) minutes after a less violent quake Friday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey. (USGS)crowding thousands.

It damaged hundreds of homes and buildings, including mosques, schools and banks, forcing terrified residents to evacuate and bring loved ones to safety in temporary shelters.

“At this point, the search is underway for six people we believe may have been buried by a landslide,” said Abdul Muhari, spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), in a statement Saturday.

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According to the BNPB, at least 86 people were injured in the earthquake, 10 of them seriously.

More than 6,000 people have been evacuated in the Sumatra town of West Pasaman and Pasaman, where rescuers used heavy equipment to search for survivors in the rubble of buildings, the agency said.

Indonesia’s Meteorological Service BMKG warned people to stay away from slopes due to fears of landslides at the height of the rainy season.

Authorities in West Pasaman have declared a state of emergency for two weeks while search and rescue efforts continue.

“People affected by the earthquake urgently need tarpaulin, tents, instant food, clean water and family supplies,” Muhari said.

Images shared with AFP from the city of Pasaman, near the earthquake’s epicenter, showed partially collapsed houses with bricks on the ground and holes in the walls.

The mayor’s home was also damaged, with broken glass all over the floor, according to BNPB head Suharyanto, who like many Indonesians bears one name.

The tremors were felt as far as Malaysia and Singapore.

Indonesia is located on the “Ring of Fire” of the Pacific Ocean, which means it regularly experiences earthquakes.

In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit the coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region, including about 170,000 in Indonesia.

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