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As rescue workers searched for survivors in the wreckage of a four-story school Thursday, Mira Utami's mother clawed away, too — looking for the shoes missing from her daughter's body. Mira was taking a high school English final when the quake hit, flattening the school in seconds and killing her a week before her 16th birthday.

"We had planned to celebrate ... but she's gone," said her mother, Malina, weeping amid the wreckage where the barefoot body was found.

John Holmes, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, set the death toll at 1,100, and the number was expected to grow. Government figures put the number of dead at 777, with at least 440 people seriously injured.
Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude earthquake started at sea and quickly rippled through Sumatra, the westernmost island in the Indonesian archipelago.

An eerie quiet settled over Padang late Thursday as workers called off search efforts for the night. Thousands are thought trapped under shattered buildings in the city of 900,000, raising fears of a significantly higher death toll when the debris is cleared.

"Let's not underestimate. Let's be prepared for the worst," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in the capital, Jakarta, before flying to Padang, a coastal city and West Sumatra province's capital.

Read More @ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/ap_on_re_as/as_indonesia_earthquake

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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.

A total of 529 people were confirmed dead and 440 were seriously injured, the Social Affairs Ministry's crisis center said. It said 376 deaths occurred in Padang, a coastal city of 900,000 and capital of West Sumatra province. The rest were in four surrounding districts.

Thousands were believed trapped, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's crisis center. A foot could be seen sticking from one pile of rubble.

Read More @ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/ap_on_re_as/as_indonesia_earthquake

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