Wed, 08 Feb 2023

CIANJUR, Indonesia, 22nd November, 2022 (WAM) -- Indonesian rescue workers were racing on Tuesday to reach people still trapped in rubble a day after an earthquake devastated a West Java town, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds, as officials warned the death toll may rise.

According to Reuters, the epicentre of the shallow 5.6-magnitude quake hit on land close to the town of Cianjur in a mountainous area of Indonesia's most populous province. The tremor on Monday afternoon prompted panicked residents to flee onto the streets as buildings collapsed.

Many of the fatalities were caused by falling buildings, the head of Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said in a statement.

Overnight a hospital parking lot in Cianjur was inundated with victims, some treated in makeshift tents, others hooked up to intravenous drips on the pavement, while medical workers stitched up patients under the light of torches.

At least 162 people were killed in Monday's quake, many of them children, with more than 300 injured, and over than 13,000 people had been evacuated, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said, warning some residents remained trapped in isolated places.

Authorities were operating "under the assumption that the number of injured and death will rise with time", he said.

The earthquake, which struck at a depth of just 10 km (6.2 miles) and was felt strongly in the capital Jakarta about 75 km away, damaged at least 2,200 homes and displaced more than 5,000 people, the BNPB said.

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