PADANG, Indonesia – A second powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia on Thursday as rescuers struggled to reach survivors of the previous day’s quake, which killed more than 500 people and left thousands trapped under collapsed buildings.
The death toll from Wednesday’s 7.6-magnitude earthquake off Sumatra island was expected to rise as rescuers dig through the rubble, sometimes by hand, in heavily populated cities. The latest, 6.8-magnitude quake damaged hundreds of additional buildings, and communications remained cut in some areas.
“Let’s not underestimate (the disaster). Let’s be prepared for the worst. We will do everything we can to help the victims,” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in Jakarta before flying to Padang.