Java earthquake: 162 dead after earthquake in Indonesia

Warning: Graphic content.

A powerful 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds, local officials said, damaging buildings and triggering a landslide.

The quake was concentrated in the Cianjur region of West Java, according to the United States Geological Survey, and was felt as far away as the capital Jakarta, where panicked residents ran into the streets.

“Dozens of people were killed,” Adam, a spokesman for the local government in the city of Cianjur, who, like many Indonesians, has only one name, told AFP.

He said thousands of homes could have been damaged in the quake. The local chief executive of the city hardest hit by the quake said most of the deaths had been counted in one hospital alone, without giving an exact number, and many others in nearby villages have yet to be evacuated.

“The information that I have received for the time being, in this hospital alone, almost 20 have died and at least 300 people are being treated,” Herman Suherman previously told Metro TV.

“Most of them had fractures because they were trapped by ruined buildings.” According to local media, shops, a hospital and an Islamic boarding school in the city were badly damaged by the quake.

The broadcasters showed several buildings in Cianjur with collapsed roofs and debris lining the streets.

Suherman said relatives of victims had gathered at the city’s Sayang Hospital and warned the death toll could rise as villagers outside the city may still be trapped.

“We are currently treating people in this hospital who are in an emergency. The ambulances continue to come to the hospital from the villages,” he said.

“There are many families in villages that have not been evacuated.” The country’s disaster chief Suharyanto, who also goes by a name, said at least 14 people had died in the Cianjur region, but that information was “still developing”.

Cianjur Police Chief Doni Hermawan told Metro TV authorities they saved a woman and a baby from a landslide, but a third person they found died from their injuries.

The country’s weather agency warned residents near the quake to be alert for further tremors.

“We are calling on people to stay outside of buildings for the time being due to possible aftershocks,” Indonesian Meteorological Agency chief Dwikorita Karnawati told reporters.

There were no reports of casualties or major damage in Jakarta. Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, described how panicked workers ran to the exits of her building in Jakarta when the earthquake struck.

“I worked when the ground was shaking beneath me. I could clearly feel the shaking. I tried not to do anything to process what it was, but it got even stronger and took some time,” she said.

“I’m a bit dizzy now and my legs are a bit cramped as well because I had to go down from the 14th floor.” Hundreds of people waited outside after the quake, including some wearing hard hats to protect themselves from falling debris, an AFP reporter there said.

Indonesia is subject to frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide.

A magnitude 6.2 quake that struck the island of Sulawesi in January last year killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless.

Originally posted as At least 162 dead after earthquake in Indonesia

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