- West Java, Indonesia was hit by an earthquake of 5.6 magnitudes
- Over 100 people have died, and the death toll is likely to increase
- Many are still trapped under debris in Cianjur town, where the earthquake hit
Rescue workers continued their search for people trapped under the rubble caused by an earthquake that hit West Java, Indonesia on Monday, killing over 100 people.
Reports suggest that many still remain trapped under the debris of collapsed houses in Cianjur town and officials have said that the death toll and the number of those injured are likely to increase.
On Tuesday Indonesian president Joko Widodotook to Twitter and said he visited the area to ensure everyone received adequate treatment. A rough translation of the tweet reads, "This afternoon too, I went to Cianjur region to ensure that the victims of the earthquake receive adequate treatment."
Wikodo said he deliberately chose to visit the area by car to ensure that roads leading to the affected region were re-opened.
Widodo had earlier said the priority was to rescue victims from under the rubble.
What exactly happened?
An earthquake of 5.6 magnitudes hit the Cianjur town of West Java on Monday at 13:21 local time. The earthquake caused large-scale devastation in what is being reported as a densely populated area prone to landslides.
West Java governor Ridwan Kamil said that at least 162 people had been killed. However, the BBC reported that Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) as saying the official death toll was 103.
Videos shared on Instagram by Kamil showed the extent of the devastation with houses, shops and other commercial establishments having collapsed and damaged.
The Guardian quoted him as saying, "The majority of those who died were children."
As the search for the missing continued, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency Henri Alfiandi, said that the priority was to get those trapped under the rubble out and treated medically. He told Associated Press, "For us, all victims are a priority, our goal is to find them and save lives by getting them evacuated as soon as possible and get medical help."
Alfiandi said during a press conference that most of those who were killed were children. The earthquake hit in the afternoon, a time when children are at school.
What is the extent of the damage?
The earthquake caused massive damage to property in the region. Reuters reported the BNPB as saying that at least 2,200 homes were damaged and 5,000 people were displaced because of the earthquake.
The earthquake also left many areas without power, which hampered rescue operations. Landslides caused by the earthquake also blocked roads.
Associated Press reported that hospitals were also overwhelmed with cots and stretchers even placed outside of the hospital building. The report said that president Wikodo announced that a sum of 50 million rupiah ($3,180) will be given to residents whose property has been damaged.
Images from the location also showed hundreds of houses damaged or completely destroyed because of the earthquake. AFP tweeted photos saying, "Hunt continues for survivors buried under rubble after a strong earthquake on Indonesia's main island of Java killed 162 people, injured hundreds and left more feared trapped in collapsed buildings."
Condolences pour in
Indonesia received condolences and messages of support from several heads of state across the world in the aftermath of the earthquake. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying, "Saddened by the loss of lives and damage to property from the earthquake in Indonesia. Deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Wish a speedy recovery to the injured. India stands with Indonesia in this hour of grief. @jokowi"
US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, said, "We are deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake in West Java. We stand with the people of Indonesia and send our heartfelt condolences to the affected communities during this difficult time."
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said, "My heart goes out to everyone affected by the devastating earthquake in Indonesia. I'm sending my deepest condolences to those who lost someone they loved, and I'm thinking of all those whose lives have been changed forever. Canada stands ready to help in any way we can."
Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib offered the country's "wholehearted" support to Indonesia.
Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese also said the country stood by Indonesia.
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