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CNN Today

Dozens Killed, Thousand Displaced as Earthquake Rocks Indonesia

Aired June 5, 2000 - 2:35 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Rescue workers are hoping to find more survivors in Indonesia following a major earthquake there. The quake hit Sumatra Island late yesterday with an estimated magnitude of 7.9. That's huge. The quake killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds more. Thousands of others are homeless.

CNN's Atika Schubert (ph) has more on the quake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The province of Bengkulu and South Sumatra was hit the hardest by Sunday's earthquake. Rescue workers are continuing to search for those trapped in damaged buildings. The death toll is expected to rise as reports trickle in from rural areas closer to the epicenter.

The massive earthquake hit at approximately 11:30 p.m., just when residents were settling in for the night. Doctors working with the victim say most died in their sleep as their homes collapsed around them. A hotel and two bank buildings were destroyed in the center of Bengkulu town. At least one main road was split in half. Panicked residents fled their homes and are now camping out in any available space outdoors, fearing more damage from continuing aftershocks.

The concern now is that Bengkulu is running low on supplies. The hospitals are needing more medicines and donated blood to deal with the overwhelming number of victims. The Indonesian government has sent in emergency teams, but the country is still recovering from economic crisis and political unrest that has displaced thousands of people.

Sunday's earthquake adds yet another burden to a country struggling to make ends meet.

Atika Schubert, CNN, Jakarta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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