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INDONESIA QUAKE: NUMBER OF HOMELESS SOARS TO 43,000
The number of people displaced by a powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia on Wednesday has soared to at least 43,000, emergency officials say.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the scale of the problem was becoming clearer as rescue teams fanned out into the affected areas.
At least 100 people were killed and many more injured when the magnitude 6.5 tremor struck Aceh province.
Only on Friday, the number of homeless was still being out at 23,000.
President Joko Widodo visited survivors in hospitals, vowing that communities would be rebuilt.
The agency said humanitarian groups were co-ordinating their efforts from a base in the worst affected district of Pidie Jaya.
“The basic needs of refugees must be met during the evacuation,” it said.
About 245 buildings were damaged or destroyed in Pidie Jaya and neighbouring Bireuen district, including homes, shops and mosques.
The powerful quake also cracked roads and disrupted power supplies.
Sniffer dogs were being used again on Saturday to search for bodies and possible survivors in the devastated town of Meureudu.
A market filled with shops and houses in the town was largely destroyed.