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Earthquake kills 56, wounds hundreds in Indonesia

AT News

Kabul: An earthquake has struck the main Indonesian island of Java, leaving at least 56 people dead and hundreds injured, local officials say.

The 5.6 magnitude quake struck Cianjur town in West Java, at a shallow depth of 10km (six miles), according to US Geological Survey data.

Officials warn of possible aftershocks and say the death toll could rise.

The area where the quake struck is densely populated and prone to landslides, with poorly-built houses. Rescuers have been trying to evacuate people from collapsed buildings, and managed to save a woman and her baby, according to local reports.

West Java governor Ridwan Kamil confirmed to local media that 56 people had died and more than 700 were injured.

He said the numbers of injuries and fatalities are likely to increase because there are “a lot of people” still trapped at the scene, with one area blocked by a landslide.

He said more health workers were needed to deal with the overwhelming number of patients and that electricity was down in the area, leaving doctors at the main hospital unable to operate on patients.

The tremor could also be felt in the capital Jakarta about 100km away, where people in high-rise buildings were evacuated.

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, which sits on the “ring of fire” area of tectonic activity in the Pacific. The country has a history of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, with more than 2,000 killed in a 2018 Sulawesi quake.

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