Dozens of people were killed early Wednesday and more were feared dead after a powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, with many of the victims crushed to death in their homes as they slept.
The earthquake, which shook Sumatra’s northernmost province, Aceh, had a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The Indonesian National Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said that the temblor, which struck after 5 a.m. at a depth of about six miles, was centered in Pidie Jaya, a region on the province’s east coast, adjacent to the Strait of Malacca.
Government agencies gave conflicting reports on the number of casualties.
Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman, the army chief in Aceh, said that 97 people had died. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Agency for Disaster Management, said at least 52 people were killed and 273 injured, 73 of them seriously.