News ID: 325542
Published: 0349 GMT November 22, 2022

Indonesia quake death toll rises to nearly 270

Indonesia quake death toll rises to nearly 270
ANTARA FOTO/YULIUS SATRIA WIJAYA/VIA REUTERS

A rescuer walks among the rubble of collapsed buildings during a rescue operation after earthquake hit in Cianjur, West Java Province, Indonesia, on November 22, 2022.

AP – Indonesian rescuers used jackhammers, circular saws and sometimes their bare hands Tuesday to shift the rubble of flattened buildings as they searched for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 268 people.

With many missing, some remote areas still unreachable and more than 1,000 people injured in the 5.6 magnitude quake, the death toll was likely to rise. Hospitals near the epicenter on the densely populated island of Java were already overwhelmed, and patients hooked up to IV drips lay on stretchers and cots in tents set up outside, awaiting further treatment.

Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes, many much stronger than Monday’s whose magnitude would typically be expected to cause light damage. But experts said the shallowness of the quake and inadequate infrastructure contributed to the severe damage, including caved-in roofs and large piles of bricks, concrete, and corrugated metal.

The quake was centered on the rural, mountainous Cianjur district, where one woman said her home started “shaking like it was dancing.”

The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and also caused panic in the capital of Jakarta, about a three hour-drive away, where high-rises swayed and some people evacuated.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency head Suharyanto, who uses one name, told reporters that 1,083 people were injured and at least 151 missing. But not all of the dead have been identified, so it’s possible some the bodies pulled from the rubble are of people on the missing list.

Many of the dead were public school students who had finished their classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools when the buildings collapsed, West Java Gov. Ridwan Kamil said.

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

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 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

 

 

 

 

   
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