2nd quake shakes Indonesia after temblor kills 529

PADANG, Indonesia – Rescue workers used excavators Thursday to pull out victims, some screaming in pain, from the heavy rubble of buildings felled by a powerful earthquake that killed at least 529 people. The death toll was expected to rise.

The brunt of Wednesday's 7.6-magnitude earthquake, which originated in the sea off Sumatra island, appeared to have been borne by Padang town where 376 people were killed. Four other districts accounted for the remaining deaths.

The region was jolted by another powerful earthquake Thursday morning, causing damage but no reported fatalities.

More than 500 buildings including hotels, schools, hospitals and a mall were destroyed or damaged in Padang. Thousands of people were believed to be trapped in the rubble.

"Oh God, help me! help me!" Friska Yuniwati, a 30-year-old woman, screamed in pain, as she was carried to an ambulance in downtown Padang. She had been pulled out minutes earlier from the rubble of a house, her face covered in bruises and eyes shut.

Padang's main hospital, the state-run Djamil Hospital, was overwhelmed by the influx of victims and families. Dozens of injured people were being treated under tents outside the hospital, which was itself partly damaged.

"Let's not underestimate the disaster. Let's be prepared for the worst. We will do everything we can to help the victims," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in Jakarta before flying to Padang, a coastal city of 900,000 and capital of West Sumatra province.

A total of 529 people were confirmed dead and 440 were seriously injured, the Social Affairs Ministry's crisis center said. Thousands were believed trapped, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's crisis center.

The president ordered the military to deploy all its crisis centers in Jakarta, West Sumatra and North Sumatra provinces and said the military will provide earth-moving equipment to clear the rubble.

SurfAid, a New Zealand-based medical aid group, said its program director David Lange, narrowly escaped death when he fled the Ambacang Hotel minutes before it collapsed.

"People are trapped and screaming for help but they are below huge slabs which will take heavy equipment to move," Lange was quoted as saying in a statement by SurfAid.

"I saw dozens of the biggest buildings collapsed in town. Most of the damage is concentrated in the commercial center market, which was fully packed," he said.

At least 80 people were missing at the 5-story Ambacang Hotel, said Indra, a paramedic who uses only one name.

Terrified residents who spent a restless night, many sleeping outdoors, were jolted by the new quake Thursday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit about 150 miles 240 kilometers south of Padang. It damaged 1,100 buildings, including mosques and homes, in the town of Jambi, according to Mayor Hasfiah, who uses only one name like many Indonesians. He said there were no deaths but dozens of people were injured.

From Padang, Metro TV showed heavy equipment breaking through layers of cement slabs in search of students missing from a school, where they were taking after-school classes. Rescue workers said six children were pulled out alive but four others were found dead. They were placed in yellow body bags before being taken away. Another 20 children remained missing.

Parents of missing students stayed up all night, waiting for signs of life.

Associated Press writers Ali Kotarumalos and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta contributed to this report.

A member of the special warfare command poses for photographs as he parachutes from a helicopter near Seoul. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak