COLOMBO: The death toll in an earthquake that shook Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday rose to 162 and authorities said over 13,000 were being shifted to evacuation centres.
AP quoting West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil reported that the number of confirmed dead had risen to 162.
“The majority of those who died were children,” he said. Many were public school students who had finished their regular classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools, he said.
Cianjur is known for having a large number of Islamic boarding schools and mosques, AP reported.
The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.6 quake was centered in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
“There are 46 dead people at the Cianjur regional hospital and around 700 injured people. Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Suharyanto said.
Several landslides were reported around Cianjur. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, the agency said.
“Information was still being collected about the extent of casualties and damage,” it said in a statement.
The quake was felt strongly in the greater Jakarta area. High rises in the capital swayed and some were evacuated.
“The quake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to get out of our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.
Earthquakes occur frequently across the sprawling archipelago nation, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta. The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia. With inputs from PTI)