Scores killed and buildings flattened

At least seventy people have been killed and hundreds of buildings flattened in an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The earthquake struck just before 11am local time (0349 GMT) this morning. It is understood that the quake had a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale and was centred near the town of Padang.

Reports suggest that the death toll may be higher as communications with remote regions have been cut off. Telephone and power lines have been knocked down, and hundreds of buildings have collapsed.

Several tall buildings in Singapore’s business district also swayed as a result of the tremors.

Over 130,000 people died in Sumatra in the Asian tsunami of December 2004.