Rescuers search the rubble after over 100 killed in the Indonesian earthquake

Rescue workers, soldiers and police are searching the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia’s Aceh province, resuming the hunt for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and power cuts.

More than 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck north-east Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday.

Hundreds more were injured and dozens of buildings were destroyed. The worst damage appears to be in Pidie Jaya district near the epicentre.

Rescuers tried to navigate a market in the town of Meureudu, where many shops and houses collapsed. Some people spent the night outdoors while thousands took refuge in mosques and temporary shelters.

Many were left homeless after the magnitude 6.5 quake destroyed or damaged their homes and others were too scared to return home.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said the death toll had risen to 102, spread across three districts in northern Aceh, and the number “probably will increase”. The agency said over 600 people were injured in the quake.

Aceh’s disaster agency said more than 8,000 displaced people were at shelters in Pidie Jaya. The Indonesian government has declared a two-week emergency period in Aceh and some aid is reaching hard-hit areas.

Killer quakes occur regularly in the region, where many live with the terrifying memory of a giant earthquake that struck off Sumatra on December 26 2004. The magnitude 9.1 quake triggered a devastating tsunami that killed more than 100,000 Acehnese.

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