Source Pravda.Ru

Indonesian Strong Quake Leaves 57 Dead, Dozens Missing

The death toll from an earthquake in Indonesia has reached 46 with scores injured and missing. Casualty figures could increase.

Indonesian rescue workers searched by hand through rubble Thursday looking for trapped survivors from Wednesday's earthquake.

Authorities say heavy digging equipment is headed to the worst-hit areas of western Java, but time is running out for scores buried under collapsed buildings and landslides, Voice of America reports.

One resident of Cikangkareng in West Java described how immediately after the tremors and noise of the earthquake came the the landslide.

The epicentre of the magnitude seven quake was located a few hundred kilometers south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Many of those whose homes are still standing are too scared to return amid the risk of aftershocks.

Australia and Japan have promised as much aid as they can provide to the recovery effort, Euronews informs.

At least 110 people were hospitalized with injuries from Wednesday's 7.0 magnitude quake, centered just off the coast of densely populated Java island, Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono said. Ten were in critical condition.

"Everything is gone, my wife, my old father-in-law and my house ... now I just hope to find the bodies of my family," 34-year-old farmer Ahmad Suhana said as he pried at giant stones with a crowbar.

Heavy digging equipment had not reached parts of the worst affected district in West Java province, which President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Thursday. Police, military personnel and villagers used their hands to remove rubble.

Yudhoyono cautioned rescue workers to be wary of dozens of aftershocks "although they are becoming less powerful." He pledged $500,000 in national assistance to help victims.

More than 24,800 homes, offices, schools and mosques were damaged, about 10,000 seriously, the Disaster Management Agency said on its Web site. At least 3,100 people were forced into temporary shelters, and the Red Cross said it distributed 1,500 tents, as well as blankets, clean water and other provisions, The Associated Press reports.

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