Indonesia Quake Toll Jumps, With Many Victims Children

Death toll after magnitude 5.6 earthquake is 162 and rising
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2022 6:21 AM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2022 11:34 AM CST
Indonesia Knows Quakes, but Even the Capital Felt This One
People walk out of an office building following an earthquake, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

(Updated throughout with new information.) A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and walls on Java, Indonesia’s densely populated main island, on Monday, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds of others as residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris. Officials were gathering information on the toll of those injured and killed by the quake in the remote area. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said the number of confirmed dead had risen to 162. “The majority of those who died were children," he said, per the AP. Many were public school students who had finished their regular classes and were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools, he said.

Kamil said more than 13,000 people whose homes had been heavily damaged in the 5.6 magnitude quake were being taken to evacuation centers. Emergency workers treated the injured on stretchers and blankets outside hospitals, on terraces, and in parking lots in the Cianjur region, about three hours drive from the capital, Jakarta. The injured, including children, were given oxygen masks and IV lines and were being resuscitated. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency recorded at least 25 aftershocks.

The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by quakes, 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 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people 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.

(Read more earthquake stories.)

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