A powerful undersea earthquake of 6.5 magnitude rocked Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeless. On Friday, the Indonesian officials said the search and rescue operations were nearing an end after a three-day long process.
"We believe we have found 99 percent of the victims," Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster management agency told Reuters.
However, Khairul Nova, an official at the Aceh search and rescue agency said dozens of residents still remain missing in the rubble of collapsed and damaged buildings. The search and rescue teams used earth movers to reach out to the victims, who were trapped under the debris.
Relief workers were seen handing out food, water and blankets to the rescued residents. President Joko Widodo visited the earthquake survivors, including people who were getting treated for broken bones in hospitals and tent clinics.
Aceh, which is located on the northern tip of Sumatra island, declared a two-week state of emergency due to the destruction created by the strong quake. The central government has also pledged aid for recovery efforts.
Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, this latest quake was the worst disaster to hit the region resulting into a massive catastrophe. In 2004, the tsunami killed almost 226,000 people along Indian Ocean shorelines.