Indonesia earthquake: Search underway as magnitude-5.6 earthquake leaves over 200 dead in West Java

Jakarta, Indonesia

Rescuers dig through debris to find survivors after a powerful earthquake that toppled buildings and killed at least 268 people in a heavily populated area of ​​Indonesia’s West Java province on Tuesday.

Also, 151 people are missing and more than 1,000 people are injured, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers at around 1:21 p.m. local time on Monday, causing buildings to collapse during school hours. is was going on.

The death toll from the quake became more clear Tuesday after officials reported a discrepancy.

More than 22,000 buildings have collapsed and more than 58,000 people have been displaced, BNPB Major General Suharyanto said on Tuesday.

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

Photographs showed that buildings were in ruins, and the streets were littered with bricks and scrap metal.

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“Most of the dead were children,” West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil told reporters on Monday, adding that the death toll was likely to rise. “There have been a lot of incidents in several Muslim schools.”

Villagers salvage items from damaged houses after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Qianjur on November 22, 2022.

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

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

“We all gathered in the square and the kids were scared and crying and worried about their families back home,” Saharosa said. “We continue to hold each other, strengthen each other and continue to pray.”

Cianjur municipal officials evacuate their injured colleagues after the earthquake.

Herman Suherman, a government official in Cianjur, told media that some residents were buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings. News channel Metro TV showed hundreds of victims being treated in hospital parking lots.

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Television footage showed residents huddled outside buildings that were almost completely reduced to rubble, Reuters reported.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said during a visit to the quake-hit areas on Tuesday that the government would pay $3,200 each in compensation to the owners of homes that suffered major damage.

Jokowi added that the house should be rebuilt as an earthquake-resistant structure.

One resident, identified only as Muchlis, said he felt a “tremendous tremor” and the walls and ceiling of his office were damaged.

“I was very shocked. I was worried about another earthquake,” he told Metro TV.

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

Indonesia’s Meteorological Bureau, BMKG, has issued a warning of landslides and especially heavy rains as 25 aftershocks were recorded in the first two hours after the earthquake.

Rescuers could not immediately reach some of the stranded people, he said, adding that the situation remained chaotic.

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The government authorities have built tents and shelters for the victims and are providing them with their basic needs.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking at an ASEAN multilateral meeting in Cambodia on Tuesday, expressed his “deepest condolences” after the loss of life.

The building of Sianjur school collapsed after the earthquake.

Indonesia is located in the “Ring of Fire” that surrounds the Pacific Ocean and is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most active earthquake zones on the planet, it stretches from Japan and Indonesia to California and South America on one side of the Pacific Ocean.

In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries and killed 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coast, more than half in Indonesia.


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