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No Filipino casualty in Sumatra quake, but 113 locals reported dead

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Filipinos in Indonesia were not affected by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Sumatra Wednesday morning and the tsunami that followed it, the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta reported.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) noted that Filipinos in Indonesia reside mostly in the Jakarta metropolitan region and in the main Java islands, mostly as engineers, managers, supervisors and teachers.

At least 113 people, mostly locals, were reportedly killed, as rescue teams work double time to reach the islands and assist affected villagers, the DFA’s sketchy reports said.

Still, embassy officials remain in touch with with local authorities in the affected areas, as well as with the Filipino community there, the DFA assured.

From Hanoi with the Philippine delegation to the 17th ASEAN Summit, DFA Secretary Alberto G. Romulo directed preparations for a humanitarian team that would extend assistance in rescue and rehabilitation and possibly go to Indonesia if needed.

The tsunami was reported to reach a height of 10 meters and struck Sumatra and its surrounding islands soon after the quake.

According to the DFA, hundreds of wooden and bamboo homes were washed away on the island of Pagai, with water flooding crops and roads up to 600 yards inland. In Muntei Baru, a village on Silabu island, 80 percent of the houses were badly damaged.

These and other islets hit were part of the Mentawai island chain, a popular and laid-back surfing spot 175 miles (280 kilometers) from Sumatra. (PNA)




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