5.6 quake rocks Indonesia, 162 killed: Report

A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and walls on Indonesia’s densely populated main island on Monday, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds of others as residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris. Officials were gathering information on the toll of those injured and killed by the quake in the remote area. West Java governor Ridwan Kamil said on Instagram that 162 people had been killed and 326 were injured. “The majority of those who died were children,” he said.
Many were public school students who had finished their regular classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools, he said. Cianjur is known for having a large number of Islamic boarding schools and mosques. “So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools,” he said.
He said more than 13,000 people whose homes had been heavily damaged were being taken to evacuation centres. Emergency workers treated the injured on stretchers and blankets outside hospitals, on terraces and in parking lots in the Cianjur region, about three hours drive from the capital, Java. The injured, including children, were given oxygen masks and IV lines and were being resuscitated.
“I fainted. It was very strong,” said Hasan, a construction worker who, like many Indonesians, uses one name. “I saw my friends running to escape from the building. But it was too late to get out and I was hit by the wall. ” Residents, some crying and holding children, fled damaged homes after the magnitude 5. 6 quake shook the region in West Java province in the late afternoon, at a depth of 10 kilometres.
It also caused panic in the greater Jakarta area, where high-rises swayed and some people evacuated. Rescue teams and civilians in Cianjur were looking for people buried in collapsed brick homes. In many homes, chunks of concrete and roof tiles fell inside bedrooms. Shopkeeper Dewi Risma was working with customers when the quake hit, and she ran for the exit. “The vehicles on the road stopped because the quake was very strong,” she said. “I felt it shake three times, but the first one was the strongest one for around 10 seconds. The roof of the shop next to the store I work in had collapsed, and people said two had been hit. ”
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that the death toll reached 62 and hundreds were injured. More than 5,000 people are being evacuated. Twenty-five people were still stuck buried in the debris in Cijedil village, said agency spokesman Abdul Muhari. The BNPB said more than 2,200 houses had been damaged and more than 5,300 people had been displaced. Police in Cianjur said that the number of fatalities was likely to increase because so many people were trapped under the rubble of ruined buildings. Electricity was down, disrupting communications, authorities said, while landslides were blocking evacuations in some areas.
Several landslides closed roads around the Cianjur district. Among the dozens of buildings that were damaged was an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, the agency said.
Kamil said that the local government, national police and Indonesian military were still gathering information. He said 88 aftershocks were recorded while weather agency BMKG warned of more landslides in the event of heavy rain. Indonesia straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the Earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes. In 2004, a 9. 1 magnitude quake off Sumatra island in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 2,26,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline.

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