President Zuma comforts quake hit Indonesia

Pretoria - President Zuma has sent condolences to Indonesia following a deadly earthquake that struck Aceh province on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, President Zuma said: “I wish to extend our condolences to President Joko Widodo, the government and people of Indonesia. The people of South Africa share the pain and loss of the loved ones, their homes and property, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the affected families. We also wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

At least 40 people have been killed and 190 others wounded in the 6.4-magnitude quake, which caused massive damage. Tens of houses, buildings and infrastructure facilities were destroyed by the quake.

Most of the victims and damages were in Pidie Jaya district, one of the hardest hit areas, officials said.

A search and rescue operation for the victims of the quake is underway now as dozens of people remain trapped under the debris of buildings of shops.

Heavy machinery equipment has been deployed to help in the evacuation. - SAnews.gov.za-Xinhua