A powerful earthquake killed more than 160 people in Indonesia’s West Java province on Monday, with rescuers searching for survivors trapped under rubble amid a series of aftershocks.
The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude quake was near the town of Cianjur in the mountains of West Java, about 75 km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta. The region has more than 2.5 million inhabitants.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said on Instagram that 162 people had been killed and 326 injured.
The Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) still put the death toll at 62 and rescuers were looking for 25 people believed to be trapped under the rubble and its spokesman said the search would continue overnight.
Ridwan told reporters that since many buildings have collapsed, the death toll could rise.
“There are locals trapped in isolated places…so we’re assuming that the number of injured and dead will increase over time.”
Indonesia straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a very seismically active zone, where different plates of the earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
The BNPB said more than 2,200 homes had been damaged and more than 5,300 people had been displaced. Ridwan put the number at 13,000 and said they would be distributed to various evacuation centers across Cianjur.
Electricity was down, disrupting communications, authorities said, while landslides blocked evacuations in some areas.
Hundreds of victims were being treated in a hospital parking lot, some in an emergency tent. Elsewhere in Cianjur, residents huddled on mats in open fields or in tents as the buildings around them were reduced to rubble.
The ambulance still arrived at the hospital late at night, bringing more people to the hospital.
Officials were still working to determine the extent of the damage from the quake, which struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, according to the Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
Vani, who was being treated at the main hospital in Cianjur, told MetroTV the walls of her home collapsed during an aftershock.
“The walls and the wardrobe just fell… Everything was flattened, I don’t even know where my mum and dad are,” she said.
Ridwan said 88 aftershocks were recorded while weather agency BMKG warned of more landslides in the event of heavy rains.
Cucu, 48, was looking for one of her seven children.
“The kids were downstairs and I was upstairs doing laundry. Everything fell apart under me… One of my children is still missing,” she said.
In Jakarta, some people left offices in the central business district, while others reported earthquakes and displaced furniture, Reuters witnesses said.
In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the island of Sumatra in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the ocean coast Indian, more than half of them in Indonesia.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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