Shallow, 5.6 magnitude quake kills dozens in Java, Indonesia

© Firman Taqur, AP

A shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing, when it toppled buildings and triggered landslides on Indonesia's main island of Java on Monday, officials said.

Doctors treated patients outdoors after the quake, which was felt as far away as the capital Jakarta, left hospitals in the West Java town of Cianjur without power for several hours.

"I regret to inform that 162 are dead, 326 are injured with most of them sustained fractures from being crushed in ruins," Ridwan Kamil, governor of worst-hit province West Java, told a press conference in a video seen by AFP. He said most of the victims were children.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said 25 people remained trapped under the rubble as the rescue mission stretched into the night. It said more than 2,000 houses were damaged and more than 5,000 people were taken to evacuation centres.

Kamil said power had been partially restored by the evening, without specifying if that meant by generators or connection to a power grid.

The afternoon quake was centred in the Cianjur region and local authorities said as many as 700 had been wounded, warning the death toll could rise further.

"Because there are still a lot of people trapped on the scene, we assume injuries and fatalities will increase over time," Kamil said.

Agus Azhari, 19, was with his elderly mother in the family home when the living room was destroyed within seconds, parts of the walls and roof collapsing around them.

More health workers were urgently needed due to the overwhelming number of patients, he said.


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