Rescuers are digging through the rubble on Tuesday to find survivors of a powerful earthquake that killed more than 100 people as homes and buildings collapsed in densely populated areas of Indonesia’s West Java province.
A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Cianjur region of West Java at around 1:21 p.m. local time on Monday, with a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and disrupted school classes, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The building collapsed inside. was in progress.
The death toll rose to 103 on Tuesday, most of them under collapsed buildings, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Board (BNPB). Earlier, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said more than 160 people were killed, but the reasons for this discrepancy remain unclear.
Photos showed buildings in rubble, with bricks and broken pieces of metal littering the streets. More than 700 people were injured and thousands more displaced, according to the BNPB.
“Most of those who died were children,” Kamil told reporters on Monday, adding that the death toll was likely to rise further. Did.”
More than 50 schools were affected by the violent tremors, which forced children to flee their classrooms, according to aid group Save the Children.
According to the group, Mia Saharosa, a teacher at the affected school, said the earthquake was “a shock to all of us.”
“We all gathered in the fields. The children were frightened and crying, worried about their families at home,” Saharosa said. “We will hold each other, strengthen each other, and keep praying.”
Cianjur government official Herman Suhelman told media that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. News channel Metro TV showed hundreds of victims being treated in the hospital parking lot.
Television footage showed residents huddled outside the building, almost completely reduced to rubble, Reuters reported.
A resident named Muchiris said he felt a “big shake” and damaged the walls and ceiling of his office.
“I was so shocked. I was afraid another earthquake would come,” he told Metro TV.
Indonesia’s meteorological agency, BMKG, warned that 25 aftershocks were recorded in the first two hours after the quake, raising the risk of landslides, especially if it rains heavily.
Rescuers were unable to reach some of the trapped people immediately, he said, adding that the situation was still chaotic.
Government authorities are constructing tents and shelters for victims while addressing their basic needs.
Indonesia is located in the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of the Pacific Ocean that causes frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most seismically active regions on Earth, it stretches from Japan and Indonesia on one side of the Pacific Ocean to California and South America on the other.
In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra, sending a tsunami that hit 14 countries and killed 226,000 people, more than half of whom were Indonesian, along the Indian Ocean coast.