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Second Sumatran earthquake destroys two hospitals

A second earthquake has hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra as rescue workers dealt with an earlier quake.

Hundreds of buildings in the Sumatran city of Padang collapsed after Wednesday’s 7.6 magnitude quake. They included two hospitals, a shopping mall and several mosques. Landslides were also reported near the coast.

The 6.9 magnitude quake struck in the early hours, about 180 miles from the epicentre of the more powerful tremor out at sea on Wednesday. More than 200 people in the region have already been confirmed dead.

The quakes followed an even bigger undersea tremor in the South Pacific on Tuesday, which triggered a huge tsunami that killed scores of people in the Samoan and Tonga islands including, it is feared, the toddler son of a British couple.

Inland earthquakes are generally more destructive, but there were no immediate reports of new damage or injures today.

In heavy rain overnight, Padang residents fought fires with buckets of water and used their bare hands to search for survivors, pulling at the wreckage and tossing it away piece by piece.

Health minister Siti Fadilah Supari confirmed that two hospitals and a mall collapsed in the city.

He said: “This is a high-scale disaster, more powerful than the earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006 when more than 3,000 people died,” referring to a major city on the main Indonesian island of Java.

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