Earthquake in Indonesia's Java island kills and injures hundreds

The Indonesian island of Java has been struck by an earthquake of magnitude 5.6, affecting thousands of people residing on the island. According to the official reports, the earthquake has so far caused the deaths of 162 people and has injured 326 people. Although many people are still buried under the debris caused by the earthquake. Because of this, it is being said that the number of people killed and injured will only grow. The US Geological Survey data predicted that the earthquake started in Cianjur town in West Java with a depth of focus of 10 km, categorizing it as a shallow earthquake. 

Earlier, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency of Indonesia, stated that the earthquake has caused the deaths of around 62 people. But later, the local governor revealed the actual death toll to be around 162. The local governor, Ridwan Kamil said that around 326 people have been severely injured after being buried under the debris. He also said that the rescue team has been actively searching for people that are stuck under the rubble, which means that the number of killed and injured people will further rise. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency of Indonesia said that around 2,200 homes have been demolished in the earthquake, causing the displacement of over 13,000 people. 

Cianjur town is one of the most populated areas of West Java. The region is full of poorly built homes and corroded lands which are known for having frequent landslides. Because of this, the region largely gets affected during an earthquake. For a region that is near a tectonic plate, West Java has some of the weakest measures when it comes to protecting against earthquakes. This is the reason that this earthquake has caused such massive destruction in the region. Previously in 2018, the Sulawesi quake caused one of the largest devastations in the country, leading to the deaths of over 2,000 people. Because of the underwater earthquakes, tsunamis are also just as common in Indonesia. 

The rescue team sent by the Indonesian government was working throughout the night to rescue the people struck under the debris. According to the rescue team, many people are suffering from serious fractures in limbs due to debris falling on them. The head of administration in Cianjur town, Herman Suherman said that the ambulances are actively bringing injured people from the town to the hospitals and there are still many families that are still stuck at isolated locations where rescue teams are still not able to reach. Officials said that the hospitals have also been affected by the earthquake, leaving them without power. Because of this, many people were treated outside the hospital, in their car parks. Later, Governor Ridwan Kamil said that it will take more than three days to fully restore the electricity. He also said that the cell phone reception has been poor which is causing serious issues regarding the communication between officials and rescue teams. As the earthquake was shallow, people in Jakarta, which is almost 100 km away from Cianjur town, also felt its effect.