Singapore expresses condolences to Aceh quake victims; SCDF to send 2 officers as part of emergency response team

A day on from the earthquake that killed almost 100 people, rescue teams are racing against time in the search for life beneath the rubble. Meanwhile, hospitals are overwhelmed and there aren't enough medical staff to deal with the wounded.
Rescue workers carry a survivor from a fallen building in Trienggadeng, Pidie Jaya, after the earthquake.
Rescue workers carry a survivor from a fallen building in Trienggadeng, Pidie Jaya, after the earthquake. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore's government has expressed its deepest condolences to its Indonesian counterpart and the families of the victims of the earthquake that struck the Aceh province on Wednesday (Dec 7) morning.

"Singapore is shocked by the tragic loss of lives and serious damage caused," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement.

"MFA is in touch with the local authorities and Singapore stands ready to assist if required."

In a separate statement, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it will be deploying two officers to Indonesia as part of a five-man Asean Emergency Response and Assessment Team (Erat), under the auspices of the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management. 

 
 

"The Erat's primary function is to provide rapid assessment and determine the critical resources (eg tents, medical kits, and sanitation facilities) required for the areas affected by the earthquake," the statement added.  

The two officers will depart for Indonesia on Thursday and are expected to remain there for a week.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has also offered their help to the Indonesian national armed forces (TNI), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

The 6.5 magnitude quake, which hit just north of the small town of Reuleuet at 5.03am local time, has thus far claimed the lives of 94 people, injuring hundreds more.

Some 245 buildings, including homes, shop houses and mosques, had collapsed and were seriously damaged.

Rescue efforts are still underway to reach victims trapped under the rubble.