Disasters & Accidents

At least 55 killed in Indonesia quake

(Update 1: Updates death toll, adds detail throughout, changes headlines)

Jakarta, Nov 21 (EFE).- At least 55 people have died and hundreds have been injured after a magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook the Indonesian province of West Java, the southeast Asian nation’s most populous with almost 50 million inhabitants, authorities reported Monday.

The government spokesman for Cianjur, the West Java town at the epicenter of the quake, told Efe that four deaths were registered at the Cimacan hospital and 51 at the Sayang hospital.

However, the National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) has reported 17 deaths and 19 serious injuries.

The United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake at 1.21 pm (08:00 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers. The BNPB said it was located about 10 km southwest of Cianjur regency.

Herman Suherman, Cianjur’s administrative chief, told reporters the tremors have injured around 700 people.

“Victims continue to arrive from many areas. About 700 people were injured,” Suherman told Kompas TV.

He added that due to the devastation caused by the earthquake, many roads and highways in the region are closed and some power distribution stations were affected, causing power outages in several towns.

After the initial quake, the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) recorded 25 aftershocks in just two hours.

Footage and photos posted to social media showed injured people on stretchers receiving medical assistance and piles of rubble.

The impact of the quake caused serious damage to at least 343 houses and an Islamic boarding school was heavily damaged, while the Cianjur hospital, located some 75 km from the capital Jakarta, where the temblor was also felt, suffered moderate damage.

Indonesia, with some 275 million inhabitants, sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity in which some 7,000 earthquakes are recorded every year, most of them moderate

One of the country’s deadliest catastrophes occurred in 2004, when a powerful earthquake struck the western coast of the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra provoking a tsunami that killed over 226,000 people across a dozen nations bordering the Indian Ocean. EFE


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