Earthquake shakes Indonesia

Dozens dead, hundreds injured

An earthquake on Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds more, according to preliminary information from the authorities. So far there have been 44 fatalities, the spokesman for the city administration of the most affected city of Cianjur told the AFP news agency. “Hundreds, maybe even thousands of houses were destroyed.” The US earthquake observatory (USGS) gave the magnitude of the quake as 5.6.

Cianjur’s head of authorities, Herman Suherman, had previously told Metro TV that, according to his information, almost 20 people died and at least 300 were injured in one hospital alone.

According to the USGS, the epicenter of the quake was near Cianjur in the province of West Java. Several broadcasters showed images of buildings in Cianjur whose roofs had collapsed. There was no tsunami warning.

Medical staff treat the injured

AP/Firman Taqur

Many people remain outdoors for fear of aftershocks

The tremors also shook high-rise buildings in the capital Jakarta, around 100 kilometers to the south. People ran outside in panic, but no major damage or injuries were reported from the capital.

Aftershock warning

Indonesia’s meteorological agency warned people in the hardest-hit region of aftershocks. They should remain outdoors for the time being, said agency chief Dwikorita Karnawati.

Because of Indonesia’s location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common in the Southeast Asian country. In January last year, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, killing more than 100 people. Thousands of people lost their homes.

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