- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UPDATED:

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian officials say at least 75 people have been killed and thousands more trapped under flattened buildings in a powerful earthquake off Sumatra island.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced the death toll at a news conference, hours after the 7.6-magnitude quake hit off the coast of the town of Padang on Wednesday.

Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry’s crisis center, said thousands of people were trapped under collapsed buildings. He said a field hospital was being prepared to assist the injured.

Officials said the quake triggered a landslide that cut off land transport to the area closest to the epicenter. Power and telecommunications were also cut.

The quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

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