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Indonesia: Earthquake Kills At Least 46, Hundreds Get Injured

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Monday was centred at a depth of 10 kilometres in the Cianjur region of West Java province

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A shallow earthquake shook Indonesia's main island of Java, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds more, with fears that the death toll will rise.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Monday was centred at a depth of 10 kilometres in the Cianjur region of West Java province. Residents in Jakarta's capital fled to the streets for safety.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the earthquake killed at least 46 people and injured approximately 700 others. Hundreds of structures were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities.

Cianjur government official Herman Suherman told reporters that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

The town's Sayang hospital lost power following the earthquake, preventing doctors from operating on victims.

Cianjur is located 75 kilometres southeast of Jakarta. Metro TV footage showed almost entirely destroyed structures in Cianjur, with worried residents huddled outside.

Government officials warned that the death toll could rise because villagers on the outskirts of town could still be trapped.

“We are currently dealing with emergency patients in this hospital. Ambulances continue to arrive from the villages at the hospital,” officials said. 

The earthquake was felt strongly throughout Greater Jakarta. High-rise buildings in the capital shook and some were evacuated.

“The quake was so powerful. My colleagues and I decided to leave our office on the ninth floor via the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, a south Jakarta employee.

The head of the weather and geophysics agency BMKG, Dwikorita Karnawati, advised people to stay outside in case of aftershocks.

25 aftershocks were recorded in the two hours following the quake, according to BMKG, who also warned of the risk of landslides in the event of heavy rain.

Earthquakes occur frequently throughout the vast archipelago nation, but they are rarely felt in Jakarta.

Because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin, the country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck West Sumatra province in February, killing at least 25 people and injuring over 460 others. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in West Sulawesi province killed over 100 people and injured nearly 6,500.

In 2004, a powerful Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, the majority of whom were Indonesians.

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