Over 160 dead and hundreds injured as tremor strikes Indonesian island of Java

November 21, 2022

JAKARTA — More than 160 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured after an earthquake shook Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, damaging buildings and sending people scrambling for safety.

Rescuers have been trying to reach survivors trapped under the rubble as aftershocks hit. Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) earlier said that 62 people had been killed and that at least 25 people were believed to be stuck under collapsed buildings.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil later confirmed that the death toll had risen to at least 162 people. Local media are also reporting that the earthquake has displaced over 13,000 people.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.6 quake was centered in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometers. The weather and geophysics agency BMKG said there was no potential for a tsunami.

Cianjur is about 75 kilometers south of Jakarta, and the quake was felt strongly in the capital and the surrounding area.

Earlier, Herman Suherman, head of the city administration of Cianjur, West Java, told news channel Metro TV that about 700 people had been injured.

He added that “at least” 300 people were being treated in one hospital in the city alone. ”Most have broken bones after being trapped in the rubble of buildings,” Suherman said.

Relatives of the victims were gathering at Sayang hospital, he added, warning that the toll could rise as villagers may still be trapped in the rubble, and many families in villages had not yet been evacuated.

Authorities had earlier reported rescuing a woman and baby trapped in a landslide in Cianjur.

“There have been dozens of people killed. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of houses are damaged,” a spokesman for the administration of the West Java town of Cianjur told AFP.

The damaged buildings included an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, BNPB chief Suharyanto said. Information was still being collected about the extent of casualties and damage, the agency said.

Footage from Metro TV showed some buildings in Cianjur reduced almost entirely to rubble as worried residents huddled outside.

In Jakarta to the north, high-rise buildings swayed and some were evacuated.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage in the capital, but people rushed from buildings. Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, described the panic of employees rushing for the emergency exits.

“I was working when the ground shook. I could clearly feel the tremor,” she said.

“The quake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to get out of our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.

Earthquakes occur frequently across the sprawling archipelago nation, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta.

The country is vulnerable due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates meet.

In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

In 2018, the island of Lombok and the neighboring island of Sumbawa were hit by a violent earthquake that killed over 550 people. — Euronews

November 21, 2022
10 hours ago

Georgian President vetoes controversial 'foreign agents' bill

10 hours ago

Lavrov accuses Europe of using 'Russian threat' myth to escalate arms race

10 hours ago

France deploys over 600 gendarmes in New Caledonia amid unrest over voting rights