Philippines-US relations

Power out in Aceh, evacuation underway

Purple S. Romero

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Families have started to flee Aceh and move to higher ground

MANILA, Philippines – Aceh is now suffering from a power outage, while telecommunication services have been interrupted hours after an 8.6-magnitude earthquake struck the coast off Sumatra at 2:38 pm on Wednesday, April 11. A 6.5 magnitude aftershock followed.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said they have formed an emergency disaster mitigation team, as families flee Aceh and move to higher ground.

While the possibility for a tsunami is not high, Sutopo said that an hour-long tsunami warning has already been raised in the west coast of Aceh and another one for 2 hours in Bengkulu or Southwest Sumatra.

The meteorological, climate and geophysics agency has also issued a tsunami warning for 3 other provinces. 

Aside from Aceh, the earthquake was also felt in the provinces of Bengkulu, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, and Lampung. got these updates from Indonesian reporter Dessy Sagita, who works for The Jakarta Globe, an English daily based in the capital of Indonesia.

Dessy said evacuation efforts are under way. Dessy’s sister, who lives in Bengkulu, is also preparing to leave.

A businessman whom Dessy interviewed, Dedy Ariansyah, said the streets are congested now, as people tried to flee Aceh in panic. –

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