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Indonesia Earthquake Kills More Than 3,000


A powerful earthquake has rocked Indonesia's Central Java province, killing more than 3,000 people. Kate Woodsome has this report from VOA's Asia News Center in Hong Kong.

A 6.2 magnitude quake shook the densely populated Indonesian city of Yogyakarta early Saturday morning, flattening buildings in the ancient city and causing widespread panic.

Arifin Muhadi, the head of disaster management for the Indonesian Red Cross, says local hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of injured. He says the emergency teams cannot determine the scale of the disaster because telephone lines are down.

"The communication lines still destroyed, so that's why it will be difficult," Muhadi said. "We only use the SMS [text messaging] in the field. We're still in the process to compile data from the field."

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered the army to help search for and evacuate victims.

Yogyakarta is located near Mount Merapi, a volcano that has been expected to erupt for the past few weeks. Local meteorologists say the earthquake has increased the volcanic activity.

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