Jakarta, Indonesia Health & Fitness Journal —
Rescuers dig through rubble on Tuesday to find survivors of a powerful earthquake that toppled homes and buildings in a densely populated area of Indonesia’s West Java province, killing dozens of people.
Monday’s quake killed 62 people, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Board (BNPB), although West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil previously said more than 160 had been killed. The reason for the discrepancy remains unclear.
The 5.6-magnitude quake struck the Cianjur region of west Java around 1:21 p.m. local time on Monday at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, causing the Collapse of buildings during school lessons were on the way.
Photos showed buildings reduced to rubble, with brick and broken metal strewn on the streets. According to the BNPB, more than 700 people were injured and thousands more displaced.
“The majority of the dead were children,” Kamil told reporters on Monday, adding that the death toll is likely to keep rising. “So many incidents happened in several Islamic schools.”
The strong shaking forced children to flee their classrooms, according to the charity Save the Children, which said more than 50 schools were affected.
Mia Saharosa, a teacher at one of the affected schools, said the earthquake was “a shock to all of us,” according to the group.
“We all gathered in the field, the children were scared and crying and worried about their families at home,” Saharosa said. “We hug, strengthen each other and keep praying.”
Herman Suherman, a government official in Cianjur, told the media that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. News channel Metro TV appeared to show hundreds of victims being treated in a hospital parking lot.
According to Reuters, television footage showed residents huddled in front of buildings that were almost completely reduced to rubble.
One resident, known only as Muchlis, said he felt “huge shaking” and the walls and ceiling of his office were damaged.
“I was very shocked. I was worried there would be another quake,” he told Metro TV.
The Indonesian Meteorological Office BMKG warned of the risk of landslides, especially in heavy rain, as 25 aftershocks were recorded in the first two hours after the quake.
Rescuers were unable to reach some of those trapped immediately, he said, adding the situation remains chaotic.
Government agencies build tents and shelters for the victims while taking care of their basic needs.
Indonesia lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a band around the Pacific Ocean that triggers frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most seismically active zones on earth, it stretches from Japan and Indonesia on one side of the Pacific to California and South America on the other.
In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 quake off the island of Sumatra in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries and killed 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coast, more than half in Indonesia.