Cianjur. A shallow 5.6 magnitude earthquake toppled buildings and walls yesterday in Javathe populous main island of Indonesiawhere at least 163 people died and hundreds were injured.
People poured into the streets, some covered in blood and dust, to get to safety.
“Most of the victims were children,” informed the governor of West Java, Ridwan Kami.
Many were from public schools that had finished their regular classes and were taking extra lessons on Islamic campuses.
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Cianjur, located about three hours from the capital Java, is known for having a large number of Islamic boarding schools and mosques.
“Many incidents broke out in various Islamic schools,” Kamil commented.
He added that more than 13,000 people whose homes had been severely damaged were transferred to victims’ centers.
Emergency workers cared for the injured in the main hospitals, which were overwhelmed, so medical service was also provided on terraces and parking lots in the region. The injured, including children, received oxygen masks and intravenous lines.
“It was very strong”, said Hasan, a construction worker who, like many Indonesians, uses only one name. “I saw my friends running to escape the building, but it was too late to get out and I was hit by a wall.”
Residents, some with children in their arms, fled their homes late in the afternoon when the tremor struck, which had a depth of 10 km.
Panic reigned in the Jakarta metropolitan area, where skyscrapers swayed and some were evacuated.
Rescuers and civilians searched for people who may have been buried in the rubble.
The tremor was strong enough to bring down walls, chunks of concrete and tiles, some of which fell into bedrooms.
With information from AP