Indonesia has appealed for urgent international assistance following a large earthquake on the western island of Sumatra. At least 50 people are known to have been killed, and another 500 injured. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed in the worst affected area.

The relief effort is being additionally hampered by downed telephone lines and cuts in electricity and water supplies. The Indonesian government has appealed to the international community to provide medicine and shelter for the hundreds of people who have been injured by the tremor. The quake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.