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IN INDONESIA: Aceh hardest hit Indonesian province

Written By Syafrein Effendiuz on 27/12/04 | Isnin, Disember 27, 2004

IN INDONESIA: Aceh hardest hit Indonesian province
Amy Chew in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Dec 26:

IN Indonesia, local authorities and rescue workers put the death toll at more than 1,876 as villages and fishing boats were swallowed by tidal waves up to five metres high in Aceh province and the nearby Nias island.
Telecommunications are down and the airport in Aceh’s capital of Banda Aceh is closed after being damaged by the tremors, according to leading Internet news service, Detik.com.

National carrier Garuda has cancelled all flights to Banda Aceh.

The highest death toll was reported in the Aceh townships of Lhokseumawe, Bireun and Pidie, which are a hotbed for the separatist Free Aceh movement.

Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had ordered the earthquake to be treated as an emergency.

Aceh’s earthquake comes just one month after another earthquake hit the province of Papua in eastern Indonesia.