Officials say at least 3,000 people may still be trapped in rubble from
a powerful earthquake that devastated Indonesia's port city of Padang.
The United Nations says the death toll is at least 1,100 from the
7.6-magnitude undersea quake, which hit Wednesday off Indonesia's
Rescue teams are struggling to reach victims in and around Padang, a
city of 900,000 people where large buildings, including hospitals,
mosques and churches, were destroyed by the quake.
In one rescue attempt, an emergency team tried to reach people buried
in the rubble of the giant Ambacang hotel. Officials say a survivor in
the hotel sent a text message saying a few people in the rubble were
In rural areas outside of Padang, some villages have been wiped out by
landslides triggered by the earthquake. Officials say more than 600
people have been buried in the landslides.
Other countries have pledged financial aid. The United States offered
to send $300,000 in immediate assistance plus another $3 million later.
Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the
so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanos and fault lines
encircling the Pacific Basin. In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake along
the same fault line caused a tsunami that killed more than 200,000
people in several countries.