A powerful earthquake killed more than 160 people in Indonesia’s West Java province on Monday, with rescuers searching for survivors trapped under rubble amid multiple aftershocks.
The 5.6-magnitude earthquake was centered about 75 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta, near the city of Cianjur in mountainous West Java. The region is home to over 2.5 million people.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Instagram that 162 people were killed and 326 injured.
Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) still put the death toll at 62 and rescuers were searching for 25 people trapped under the rubble, and its spokesman said the search would continue overnight.
Ridwan told reporters that the death toll could rise as many buildings collapsed.
“Residents trapped in isolated areas … so we anticipate that the number of injured and dead will increase over time.”
Indonesia is part of the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a very seismically active region, where different plates of the Earth’s crust meet and produce a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
BNPB said more than 2,200 houses were damaged and more than 5,300 people were displaced. Ridwan put that number at 13,000 and said they would be dispersed to various evacuation centers in Cianjur.
Power was out, communications were disrupted, authorities said, and landslides were preventing evacuation in some areas.
Hundreds of victims are being treated in hospital parking lots, some under emergency tents. Elsewhere in Cianjur, residents huddled together in open fields or on mats in tents as buildings around them were reduced to rubble.
Ambulances still arrived at the hospital late at night, bringing more people to the hospital.
Officials are still working to determine the full extent of the damage caused by the quake, which struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, according to the Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
Bhani, who is undergoing treatment at the main hospital in Sianju, told MetroTV that the walls of his house collapsed during the aftershock.
“Walls and wardrobes fell down… everything was flattened, I don’t even know the whereabouts of my mother and father,” he said.
Ridwan said 88 aftershocks were recorded while the meteorological agency BMKG warned of more landslides in case of heavy rainfall.
Kuku, 48, was looking for one of her seven children.
“The kids were downstairs and I was upstairs doing laundry. Everything collapsed underneath me… one of my kids is still missing,” she said.
In Jakarta, some people left offices in the central business district, while others reported buildings shaking and furniture moving, Reuters witnesses said.
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coast, more than half of them in Indonesia.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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