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Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 16:43
Five people killed in Aceh earthquakes
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Two big earthquakes that struck off the Indonesian province of Aceh yesterday caused the deaths of five people - three from heart attacks and two from shock.

Disaster officials have expressed relief over the low casualty figures compared to 70,000 people who died in the 2004 tsunami in Aceh.

However the chaos caused by the 8.6 and 8.3 magnitude quakes enabled about 49 inmates to escape from prison.

Scientists meanwhile have been explaining why there was no tsunami.

They say the main difference was that in 2004, one tectonic plate slipped beneath another, displacing a huge volume of water.

Yesterday's quakes in contrast resulted from the plates rubbing laterally against each other - their movements although violent were less likely to create huge waves.

Experts say that the authorities in Indonesia and in other countries were not wrong to evacuate people - because the seismological information available at the time suggested there could have been a big tsunami.

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