252 dead, 377 hurt in Indonesia quake, thousands displaced

Jakarta: A powerful earthquake killed more than 250 people in Indonesia’s West Java province on November 21, with rescuers searching for survivors trapped under the rubble amid a series of aftershocks.

The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude quake was near the town of Cianjur in mountainous West Java, about 75 km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta. The region is home to over 2.5 million people.

A local government post said on Instagram that 31 people are still missing and 377 were injured, while the number of people displaced has reached 7,060.

Indonesia straddles the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the Earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, said more than 2,200 houses had been damaged. Electricity was down, disrupting communications, authorities said, while landslides were blocking evacuations in some areas.

Hundreds of victims were being treated in a hospital parking lot, some under an emergency tent. Elsewhere in Cianjur, residents huddled together on mats in open fields or in tents while buildings around them had been reduced to rubble.

Cucu, 48, was searching for one of her seven children. “The children were downstairs and I was upstairs getting laundry. Everything collapsed beneath me… One of my kids is still missing,” she said.

In Jakarta, some people left offices in the central business district, while others reported buildings shaking and furniture moving, Reuters witnesses said.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: indianexpress.com)

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