Indonesia earthquake: Search underway as 5.6-tremor leaves dozens dead in West Java

Jakarta, Indonesia

Rescue workers dig through the rubble Tuesday to search for survivors after a powerful earthquake destroyed homes and buildings in a densely populated area of ​​Indonesia’s West Java province.

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Cianjur region in West Java at around 1:21 p.m. local time on Monday at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), collapsing buildings and school classrooms. in progress.

The country’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said 103 people were killed on Tuesday, the highest number since collapsing under collapsed buildings. West Java’s governor, Ridwan Kamil, earlier said more than 160 people had been killed, but the cause of the conflict was unclear.

A villager looks at damaged houses in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.

Bricks in photos; Photos show buildings reduced to rubble with scraps of metal strewn across the streets. More than 700 people were injured and thousands were left homeless, BNPB said.

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“Most of the dead are children,” Kamil told reporters on Monday, adding that the death toll is likely to rise further. “A lot of incidents in many Islamic schools.”

Villagers rescue items from damaged homes after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit Cianjur on November 22, 2022.

More than 50 schools were affected, according to Save the Children, which forced children to flee their classrooms after the strong tremors.

Mia Saharosa, a teacher at one of the earthquake-affected schools, said the quake was “a shock to all of us,” according to the group.

“We all gathered in the field and the children were scared and crying,” she said. I’m worried about the families at home,” Saharosa said. “We hug each other; Let’s keep each other strong and keep praying.”

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Municipal officials in Cianjur evacuate an injured colleague after the earthquake.

Herman Suherman, a government official in Cianjur, told media that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Metro TV reported that hundreds of refugees appeared to be receiving treatment in a hospital parking lot.

Television footage showed residents huddled outside buildings, according to Reuters.

One resident, who gave his name only as Muchlis, said he felt a “huge tremor” and the walls and ceiling of his office were damaged.

“I was very shocked. I am worried that there will be another earthquake,” he told Metro TV.

Workers inspect a school damaged by the earthquake in Cianjur, West Java.

Indonesia’s Meteorological Department, BMKG, reported 25 aftershocks in the first two hours after the quake, warning of the risk of landslides, especially if there is heavy rain.

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Rescue workers could not immediately reach some of the trapped people and the situation remained chaotic, he said.

Government authorities are constructing tents and shelters for the refugees and providing them with their basic needs.

The Cianjur school building collapsed after the earthquake.

Indonesia sits on the “Ring of Fire” band around the Pacific Ocean, which is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most seismically active zones in the world, it stretches from Japan and Indonesia on one side of the Pacific to California and South America on the other.

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami in 14 countries that killed an estimated 226,000 people, more than half of them in Indonesia.


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