An earthquake on Indonesia’s main island of Java killed at least 162 people and injured hundreds more on Monday. “Hundreds, maybe even thousands of houses were destroyed,” said the spokesman for the city administration of the hardest hit city of Cianjur. The US Earthquake Monitor (USGS) gave the magnitude of the quake as 5.6.
The quake struck near the capital Jakarta on the island of Java on Monday. The epicenter was about 70 kilometers southwest of the town of Cianjur at a depth of 10 kilometers. “I regret to report that 162 people have died,” West Java Province Governor Ridwan Kamil said in a video. A spokesman for the city administration of Cianjur, which was particularly badly affected, confirmed the information. According to Cianjur municipality chief Herman Suherman, around 700 people were injured. Videos on social networks showed collapsed buildings and crying people. The injured were cared for by emergency services. Debris lay everywhere on the streets. Since other people are suspected to be under the rubble of collapsed buildings, the number of victims could continue to rise, said the head of the authorities Suherman. Ambulances with injured people from the surrounding villages continued to arrive. Some areas are inaccessible due to landslides, he explained. In addition, many of the injured could not be treated because there were not enough staff, Suherman continued. High-rise buildings swayed Due to the tremors, high-rise buildings in the capital Jakarta, around 100 kilometers to the south, also began to sway. People ran outside in panic, but there were initially no reports of major damage or injuries from the capital. Warning of aftershocksIndonesia’s meteorological authority warned people in the most affected region of aftershocks. You should stay outdoors for the time being, said the head of the authorities, Dwikorita Karnawati.Many earthquakes and volcanic eruptionsIndonesia has a population of around 270 million, more than half of whom live on the main island of Java. The island nation lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the most geologically active zone on earth. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common there. In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake on the island of Sumatra killed nearly 20 people. More than 400 were injured.