Indonesia 5.6 quake kills more than 50

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds in Indonesia’s West Java region, with rescuers attempting to reach survivors trapped under the wreckage as night fell amid a series of aftershocks.

The earthquake’s epicentre was the village of Cianjur, located approximately 75 kilometres (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta, where some buildings trembled and some offices were evacuated. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said there are already 56 confirmed deaths from the quake.

Ridwan informed reporters that so many structures collapsed and splintered. Residents are believed to be stuck in remote areas; therefore, the number of injuries and fatalities is expected to climb over time.

Indonesia spans the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a highly seismically active zone where several plates of the Earth’s crust collide and cause a great number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The national disaster agency (BNPB) reported that 23 individuals may still be buried beneath the wreckage of collapsed buildings. In Cianjur, more than 1,770 homes were damaged, and approximately 3,900 people were displaced, according to spokesman Abdul Muhari.

Herman Suherman, the leader of Cianjur’s government, stated that a lack of electricity was impeding communication attempts and that inhabitants in the Cugenang region were unable to be evacuated due to a landslide blocking access.

According to the weather and geophysics agency (BMKG), officials were still determining the entire extent of the damage caused by the earthquake, which occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

Less than two hours after the earthquake, 25 aftershocks were registered. BMKG also expressed alarm about the possibility of more landslides in the event of severe rain.

Reuters witnesses claimed that some people escaped offices in the central business district in Jakarta, while others witnessed buildings shaking and furniture moving.

In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra generated a tsunami that affected 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline, with more than half of those deaths occurring in Indonesia.

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