5.6 earthquake hits Indonesia, 162 dead: Report – Times of India


A strong, shallow earthquake on Monday toppled buildings and walls on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds more as residents fled to the streets, some covered in blood and debris. Officials gathered information on the number of injuries and deaths from the quake in the remote area. West Java governor Ridwan Kamil said on Instagram that 162 people were killed and 326 injured. “The majority of the dead were children,” he said.
Many were public school students who had completed their regular classes for the day and were taking extra classes in Islamic schools, he said. Cianjur is known for having a large number of Islamic boarding schools and mosques. “There have been so many incidents in different Islamic schools,” he said.
He said more than 13,000 people whose homes were badly damaged were taken to evacuation centers. Emergency workers treated the injured on stretchers and blankets outside hospitals, on terraces and in parking lots in the Cianjur region, about a three-hour drive from the capital Java. The injured, including children, were given oxygen masks and IV lines and resuscitated.
“I passed out. It was very strong,” says Hasan, a construction worker who, like many Indonesians, goes by 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 carrying children, fled from damaged homes following the magnitude 5 earthquake.
It also caused panic in the greater Jakarta area, where high-rise buildings swayed and some people evacuated. Rescue teams and civilians in Cianjur searched for people buried in collapsed brick houses. In many homes, chunks of concrete and roof tiles fell into bedrooms. Shopkeeper Dewi Risma was working with clients when the earthquake hit and she ran for the exit. “The vehicles on the road stopped because the earthquake was very strong,” she said. “I felt it vibrate three times, but the first one was the strongest for about 10 seconds. The roof of the store next to the store where I work had collapsed and people said two were hit. ”
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the death toll rose to 62 and hundreds were injured. More than 5,000 people are evacuated. Twenty-five people were still trapped in the rubble in the village of Cijedil, agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said. The BNPB said more than 2,200 homes were damaged and more than 5,300 people were displaced. Police in Cianjur said the number of fatalities is likely to rise as so many people are trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. Electricity went out, disrupting communications, authorities said, while landslides blocked evacuations in some areas.
Several landslides closed roads around Cianjur district. Among the dozens of buildings damaged were an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, the agency said.
Kamil said the local government, national police and Indonesian military were still collecting information. He said 88 aftershocks were recorded while the weather agency BMKG warned of more landslides in case of heavy rain. Indonesia straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone, where several plates on the Earth’s crust meet and generate a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes. In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the island of Sumatra in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that affected 14 countries and killed 2,26,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline.

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