(Update 3: upgrades death toll)
Jakarta, Nov 21 (EFE).- At least 162 people have died and hundreds were injured after a magnitude 5.6-earthquake struck the province of West Java, Indonesia’s most populous, authorities said Monday.
Provincial governor, Ridwan Kamil, said 162 people had been killed, 326 were injured and some 13,000 have been displaced, adding that the figures were provided by the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), although it has so far only confirmed 62 of the deaths.
The government spokesman for Cianjur, the West Java town at the epicenter of the quake, told Efe that most of the victims died at Sayang hospital.
The death toll could still rise further, and there are fears of landslides as the search for victims trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings continues.
The United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake at 1.21 pm (08:00 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers, initially with a magnitude of 5.4 before later revising the figure. The BNPB said it was located about 10 km southwest of Cianjur regency.
Dozens of aftershocks have been recorded in the aftermath of the initial quake, the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) said.
Herman Suherman, Cianjur’s administrative chief, told reporters the tremors have injured around 700 people.
“Victims continue to arrive from many areas,” 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.
The impact of the quake caused serious damage to hundreds of homes and buildings, and an Islamic boarding school was heavily damaged.
The hospital in Cianjur, a city of 170,000 people some 75 km from the capital Jakarta, where the tremor was also felt, suffered moderate damage.
Indonesia, home to 275 million people, is found on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of heightened seismic and volcanic activity where 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 triggering a tsunami that killed over 226,000 people across a dozen nations on the Indian Ocean. EFE