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At least 162 killed and hundreds injured as 5.6 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia

According to West Java’s governor, at least 162 people were killed in the earthquake that struck Indonesia.

Governor Ridwan Kamil stated that 326 people were still in serious or minor injuries as of 9pm local. 2,345 homes were severely damaged, and 13,400 were forced to flee the disaster zone.

Kompas TV’s Herman Suherman, a Cianjur district official, said that evacuation efforts were being hampered in certain areas by landslides.

Image: A worker in a hospital carries an earthquake victim on his stretcher. Pic by AP

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA), many people were injured by falling buildings. Some residents were trapped under the rubble.

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To evacuate villages that are still under water, heavy equipment was prepared.

Children were among the many casualties. Some were revived, while others received oxygen masks.

Image: A father carries his child in pain to the hospital. Pic: Antara Foto/Reuters

“The majority of the people who died were children,” said the governor, noting that many were students in public schools who had completed their regular classes and were learning extra lessons at Islamic schools.

Learn more about Earthquakes

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake struck the Cianjur region of West Java province at a depth 6.2 miles.

The area’s electricity was out, causing disruption to communications.

Numerous landslides were reported in Cianjur, and many buildings were damaged. This included an Islamic boarding school and hospital.

Metro TV footage showed Cianjur buildings reduced to rubble by residents who huddled outdoors.

Image View of a collapsing school building
Image: Pic: Xinhua/Shutterstock

For safety, residents fled Jakarta’s capital city to the streets.

Muchlis was in Cianjur at the time of the earthquake and said that he felt “very shocked” by the impact and was “worried” because his office walls and ceiling were destroyed.

According to the weather agency BMKG, twenty-five aftershocks occurred within two hours of the quake.

Although earthquakes are common in the archipelago nation with more than 270,000,000 inhabitants, it is rare for them to be felt here.

Image People assemble as they are evacuated

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake in February 2011 killed at least 25 and injured more than 600 people in West Sumatra province. Tremors were felt in Singapore and Malaysia.

After a major earthquake of similar magnitude, West Sulawesi saw at least 105 deaths and almost 6,500 injuries in January 2021.

Indonesia is located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an active seismic zone that sees different plates of the earth collide and produce numerous earthquakes.

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