The Java earthquake kills 56 people and injures hundreds more.

Indonesia java earthquake

According to local sources, an earthquake slammed the main Indonesian island of Java, killing at least 56 people and injuring hundreds more.

According to US Geological Survey data, the 5.6 magnitude quake impacted Cianjur town in West Java at a shallow depth of 10km (six miles).

Social media videos showed several buildings nearly entirely destroyed to rubble and debris strewn on streets.

Officials are warning of further aftershocks and believe the death toll may grow.

The quake’s epicenter is highly populated and prone to landslides, with poorly constructed buildings. Rescuers have been attempting to remove individuals from collapsed buildings and have reportedly saved a woman and her baby.

Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, acknowledged to local media that 56 people had died and another 700 had been injured.

He predicted that the number of injuries and fatalities would rise since “a lot of people” are still stranded at the scene, with one location blocked by a landslide.

Earlier, Herman Suherman, the head of administration of Cianjur town, was quoted by AFP as stating that most casualties were bone fractures received by persons trapped in buildings by debris.

“The ambulances continue to arrive from the villages,” he said. “Many families remain in villages that have not been evacuated.”

He stated that more health professionals were required to deal with a large number of patients and that electricity was down in the area, preventing doctors at the main hospital from operating on patients.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement that dozens of buildings had been destroyed in the Cianjur district. There is a hospital and an Islamic boarding school among them.

The tremor was also felt around 100 kilometers distant in Jakarta, where inhabitants in high-rise buildings were evacuated.

During the tremor, which began at 13:21 Western Indonesian time (WIT) on Monday, office workers raced out of buildings in the civic and business districts, according to the agency.

“I was working when the floor under me began to shake. I could obviously feel the tremor. I did nothing to grasp what it was, but it grew stronger and persisted for a while “Mayadita Waluyo, a lawyer, told AFP.

“We are used to this [earthquakes] in Jakarta,” an office worker called Ahmad Ridwan told Reuters. “But people were so frightened just now, so we also panicked.”

Earthquakes are widespread in Indonesia, located in the Pacific’s “ring of fire” zone of tectonic activity. The country has a history of severe earthquakes and tsunamis, with over 2,000 people killed in a Sulawesi quake in 2018.

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