More than 160 dead: Earthquake shakes West Java

BAn earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java on Monday killed and injured scores of people. The death toll rose to more than 160 during the day. “I regret to report that 162 people have died,” West Java Province Governor Ridwan Kamil said in a video on Monday. A spokesman for the city administration of the particularly hard-hit city of Cianjur confirmed the information. “Hundreds, maybe even thousands of houses were destroyed,” the city council of Cianjur told the AFP news agency. Around 700 people are currently believed to have been injured.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake collapsed houses, shops and public buildings in West Java province, local media reported. The midday tremors were felt as far away as the capital, Jakarta. In the megacity with more than 30 million people in the catchment area, many ran out of the office buildings into the open. However, there were no reports of major damage or injuries.

According to authorities, the epicenter was 75 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. The focus of the earthquake was about ten kilometers below the surface of the earth. There was no danger of a tsunami. But aftershocks were warned.

People in the particularly affected areas should stay outdoors for the time being. The television channel Metro TV showed videos from the earthquake area with destroyed houses and rubble on the streets. Images of people with bloody injuries to their heads circulated on social media. In Cianjur, a hospital and an Islamic school were damaged. The authorities there expected further deaths in the surrounding villages.

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