Jakarta: (Agencies: 1/10/2009): An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 has hit Sumatra, a day after another powerful quake devastated much of the Indonesian island.
Officials now say at least 200 bodies have been found from the earlier 7.6 magnitude quake, which triggered landslides and cut power lines.
Hundreds of buildings, including hospitals, collapsed in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province.
Rescue workers said the number of dead is expected to rise significantly.
The first earthquake struck at 1716 local time (1016 GMT) on Wednesday, some 85km (55 miles) under the sea, north-west of Padang, the US Geological Survey said.
The second quake was on land and struck at 0852 local time (0152 GMT) on Thursday, about 225km south-east of Padang at a depth of about 25km.
There were no immediate reports of damage from the second quake. Officials said they urgently needed heavy machinery to lift the rubble.
The quake brought down telephone lines, severely affecting communications with the region and making it difficult to assess the scale of the damage.
The authorities said heavy rain was hampering the rescue attempt.
Speaking on Wednesday, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said a coordinated relief effort was underway.
He said military planes were flying medical equipment and personnel to the affected region.