Earthquake in Indonesia's most populous province kills 162

Updated figures indicate that at least 162 people died and hundreds were injured as a result of an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale that hit West Java, the province most population of Indonesia, with almost 50 million people.

The number was announced by the country’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), which has updated throughout the day the count of victims of the tremor.

A spokesman for the government of the regency (type of province) of Cianjur, which is in West Java, said that most of the victims died in the Sayang hospital, in the homonymous municipality of Cianjur, where the epicenter of the earthquake took place.

In an interview with the local press, the administrative head of Cianjur, Herman Suherman, said that the tremors left about 700 people injured.

“Victims are still arriving from many areas. Around 700 people were injured,” Suherman told “Kompas TV”.

According to he, due to the damage caused by the earthquake, many roads and highways in the region were blocked, and some power distribution stations were affected, resulting in power outages in several locations.

After the initial earthquake – which was felt in the country’s capital, Jakarta, 75 km from the epicenter -, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency of Indonesia (BMKG) recorded 25 aftershocks of lesser magnitude in just two hours.

At least 343 houses and an Islamic boarding school suffered severe damage due to the earthquake. In addition, four government buildings, three schools, a church and several commercial establishments, as well as a hospital, were also damaged in the Cianjur region, according to the latest official report.

Indonesia remains in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of ​​high seismic and volcanic activity where about 7.000 earthquakes are registered, most of them moderate, per year.

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