An earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Java on Monday. At least 162 people were killed, and at least 700 were injured. The death toll is expected to rise. Aftershocks are also feared.
The quake occurred at 7:21 a.m. Belgian time had a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale, according to the US geophysical institute USGS. The epicentre was at a depth of ten kilometres, near the town of Cianjur on the west of the island.
The affected area is densely populated and with poorly built houses vulnerable to landslides. According to a local official, “hundreds, perhaps thousands of homes were damaged.” Rescue services are trying to rescue people en masse from collapsed buildings.
The quake was also felt in Jakarta’s capital, about 100 kilometres away. There, all major buildings were evacuated. Earthquakes are frequent in Indonesia, located on the so-called ‘Ring of Fire’ around the Pacific Ocean, where a lot of tectonic activity occurs.
Therefore, the country has a history of devastating earthquakes: in 2018, more than 2,000 people died in a quake in Sulawesi.