A 5.6-magnitude earthquake killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing, when it toppled buildings and triggered landslides on Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, officials said. Doctors treated patients outdoors after the quake, which was felt as far away as the capital Jakarta, left hospitals in the West Java town of Cianjur without power for several hours.
“I regret to inform you that 162 are dead. 326 are injured with most of them sustained fractures from being crushed in ruins," Ridwan Kamil, governor of the worst-hit province West Java, told a press conference in a video seen by AFP. He said most of the victims were children.
The epicenter was on land in Cianjur in West Java, at a depth of 10 km (6.21 miles), BMKG said, adding there was no potential for a tsunami.
“There have been dozens of people killed. Hundreds, even maybe thousands of houses are damaged," Adam, spokesman for the local administration in Cianjur town in West Java, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP.
The tremors were felt as far away as the capital of Jakarta, where panicked residents ran into the streets. The country’s meteorological agency warned residents near the quake to watch out for more tremors.
Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, described how panicked workers ran for the exits of their building as the quake struck.
Some people evacuated offices in the central business district of Jakarta, while others reported feeling buildings shake and seeing furniture move, witnesses said.
“I was working when the floor under me was shaking. I could feel the tremor clearly. I tried to do nothing to process what it was but it became even stronger and lasted for some time," she said.
“I feel a bit dizzy now and my legs are also a bit cramped because I had to walk downstairs from the 14th floor."
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide.
Java Worst Hit
The top official in the West Java town worst-hit by the tremor said the deaths were counted in one hospital alone, without providing a specific figure, with many others in surrounding villages still to be evacuated.
“The information I got for now, in this hospital alone, nearly 20 died and at least 300 people are being treated," Herman Suherman, head of the local administration in Cianjur town, told broadcaster Metro TV.
“Most of them had fractures from being trapped by the ruins of buildings."
He said relatives of victims had congregated at the town’s Sayang hospital and warned the death toll could rise as villagers outside of the town may still be trapped.
“We are currently handling people who are in an emergency state in this hospital. The ambulances keep on coming from the villages to the hospital," he said.
“There are many families in villages that have not been evacuated."
The country’s disaster chief Suharyanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said at least 14 people had died in the Cianjur area but said information was “still developing".
Read all the Latest News here