Jakarta: The earthquake that shook Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, killed at least 56 people, and damaged dozens of buildings, sending residents into the capital’s streets for safety. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.6 quake was centred in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
West Java governor Ridwan Kamil confirmed to local media that 56 people had died and more than 700 were injured. ‘Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings’, National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Suharyanto said. Several landslides were reported around Cianjur. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, the agency said. Information was still being collected about the extent of casualties and damage, it said in a statement.
The quake was felt strongly in the greater Jakarta area. High rises in the capital swayed and some were evacuated. Earthquakes occur frequently across the sprawling archipelago nation, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta. The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
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 nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.