Relatives mourn earthquake victims as rescuers work through the night
At least 1,100 people have died in the earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, the UN humanitarian chief has said.
John Holmes said many hundreds more had been injured, and both figures were set to rise further.
Rescuers are working into the night to find survivors in the rubble of hundreds of collapsed buildings.
The 7.6-magnitude quake struck close to the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province.
The earthquake brought down hospitals, schools and shopping malls, cut power lines and triggered landslides.
AT THE SCENE
Karishma Vaswani, BBC News, Padang
As every hour passes, the scale of this disaster becomes all too clear. Dozens of homes and office buildings have collapsed. A restaurant frequented by college students is now a pile of rubble. Officials say at least 60 people are trapped underneath.
Scenes like this are repeated all across Padang. Rescue efforts have been hampered by poor communication lines and bad roads.
The first flights carrying food and aid arrived this morning but it's nowhere near enough. Hospitals in Padang have been severely damaged in this disaster.
People are being treated in makeshift tents. There are still many parts of the city that rescue workers haven't been able to reach which is raising fears the number of dead will almost certainly rise.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited some of the worst-hit areas.
"I ask rescue workers to continue working in teams with clear goals to keep looking for survivors...," he said.
"This is a natural disaster, so let us remain strong in dealing with it."
Meanwhile US President Barack Obama, who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, said he was "deeply moved" by the suffering caused by the quake.
"Indonesia is an extraordinary country who has known extraordinary hardships from natural disasters. I know that the Indonesian people are strong and resilient and have the heart to overcome this challenge," he said.
UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes told reporters: "The latest figures we have suggest the death toll has risen already to 1,100.
"Obviously [there are] many hundreds of injured people as well, and again these numbers, I fear, will rise as more information becomes available."
An assessment team is to arrive in Padang on Friday, and UN officials will decide whether to launch an emergency appeal or take money from the organisation's Central Emergency Relief Fund, Mr Holmes added.
Indonesian health officials have already predicted thousands of deaths, comparing the quake to one in the Javan city of Yogyakarta in 2006.
A second quake of 6.8 struck close to Padang at 0852 local time (0152 GMT) on Thursday but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
"Compared to the extent of the damage, you see there should be more equipment, more people to do this."
David Lange, a doctor with Surfaid International, told the BBC one of the hospitals was "completely destroyed" and medical workers were struggling to cope.
"They are trying to operate in the parking lot, in a tent, in the mud."
Bob McKerrow, Red Cross head of operations in Indonesia, told the BBC it had more than 400 personnel on the ground, including 50 doctors flown in on Thursday morning.
"But it's just such a vast area to be working in with such bad infrastructure," he said. "I mean the roads and bridges have all been damaged, so [there is] a challenge ahead of us."
The quake brought down telephone lines, severely affecting communications with the region and making it difficult to assess the scale of the damage. Power has now been restored to some parts of Padang.
Health ministry teams and Indonesian soldiers have arrived in the city to aid the search for survivors. A shortage of heavy machinery remains a problem.
MAJOR INDONESIAN QUAKES
26 Dec 2004: Asian tsunami kills 170,000 in Indonesia alone
28 March 2005: About 1,300 killed after a magnitude 8.7 quake hits the coast of Sumatra
27 May 2006: Quake hits ancient city of Yogyakarta, killing 5,000
17 July 2006: A tsunami after a 7.7 magnitude quake in West Java province kills 550 people
30 Sept 2009: 7.6 magnitude quake near Sumatran city of Padang, thousands feared dead
1 Oct 2009: Second of two quakes near Padang, magnitude 6.8 - no damage or casualties reported
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