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. In the first hours after the quake, there were reports of several dozen deaths. However, many people were suspected to be under the rubble of collapsed buildings and therefore further victims were feared.
Ambulances with injured people continue to arrive from the surrounding villages, according to the community chief of the hardest-hit city of Cianjur, Herman Suherman. Some areas are inaccessible due to landslides, he said. In addition, many of the injured could not be treated because there were not enough staff available, Suherman said.
Power outages in hospitals
Because many people cannot yet be reached, the number of dead and injured will probably continue to rise, said Governor Ridwan Kamil in a press conference broadcast by Kompas TV. In several hospitals, the power went out for hours because of the earthquake, and the doctors treated the injured on the street. The power supply had been partially restored by the evening.
Cianjur Police Chief Doni Hermawan said on Metro TV a woman and baby were rescued after a landslide. Another buried person had succumbed to his injuries. Pictures of destroyed houses and streets could be seen on television. Many of the victims were killed by debris from their collapsing houses, said the head of national civil protection.
Earthquake claims more than 160 lives
A severe earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Java today, more than 160 dead have been counted so far, and hundreds of injured people need treatment. The number of victims will continue to rise, and many towns cannot be reached.
No major damage reported from Jakarta
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. Local media reported severe damage to a hospital, an Islamic boarding school and various businesses.
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.