Earthquake kills dozens in Indonesia
Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds wounded as Indonesia’s main island Java was rocked by an earthquake on Monday.
The quake had a magnitude of 5.6, with its epicenter located in the Cianjur region in the west of the island, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has said.
The tremors caused vast devastation in the area, with the spokesman for the local administration in the town of Cianjur telling AFP that “there have been dozens of people killed.”
“Hundreds, even maybe thousands of houses are damaged. So far, 44 people have died,” the official added.
Earlier, the head of Cianjur’s administration Herman Suherman told Metro TV of several dozen fatalities and at least 300 people getting injured, with most of them hospitalized with “fractures from being trapped by the ruins of buildings.”
Cianjur town and district, which has an estimated population of almost 175,000 people, is located some 120 kilometers south-east of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.
The shaking from the quake has been felt in Jakarta, too, with people rushing outside of buildings. However, there have been no reports so far of fatalities or destruction in the capital.
The country’s meteorological agency warned residents that “there might be potential aftershocks” and called on householders to refrain from returning to their homes for now.
Located along the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ – where several tectonic plates meet, resulting in the majority of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes – Indonesia is no stranger to deadly earthquakes.
A 6.2-magnitude quake hit the country’s Sulawesi island in January last year, killing more than 100 people and destroying thousands of homes.