The main island of Indonesia was struck by an earthquake on Monday with a magnitude of 5.6, leaving dozens of people dead and hundreds injured.
A shallow earthquake that struck West Java at 1.21 p.m. local time near the town of Cianjur, about 45 miles south of the capital Jakarta, left at least 46 people dead and 300 injured.
The quake triggered a landslide and collapsed buildings in hard-hit Cianjur – where most of the deaths were reported – but also shook tower blocks in Jakarta.
Shallow quakes tend to be more destructive than deeper earthquakes because deeper quakes travel further to the surface, losing energy along the way.
Herman Suherman, head of the local administration in Cianjur town, told broadcaster Metro TV: ‘The information I got for now, in this hospital alone, nearly 20 died and at least 300 people are being treated.’
‘Most of them had fractures from being trapped by the ruins of buildings.’
He said relatives of victims had congregated at the town’s Sayang hospital and warned the death toll could rise as villagers outside of the town may still be trapped.
‘We are currently handling people who are in an emergency state in this hospital. The ambulances keep on coming from the villages to the hospital,’ he said.
‘There are many families in villages that have not been evacuated.’
The country’s disaster chief Suharyanto, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said at least 14 people had died in the Cianjur area but said information was ‘still developing’.
Cianjur police chief Doni Hermawan told Metro TV authorities had rescued a woman and a baby from a landslide but a third person they found had died of their injuries.
Other broadcasters showed several buildings in Cianjur with their roofs collapsed and debris lining the streets.
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