Indonesia earthquake kills at least 46 people

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(UK Guardian) An earthquake has shaken Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing at least 46 people, damaging dozens of buildings and sending residents into the capital’s streets for safety.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.6 quake was centred in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles).

“There are 46 dead people at the Cianjur regional hospital and around 700 injured people. Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings,” the national disaster mitigation agency chief said.

Several landslides were reported around Cianjur. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities, the agency said. Information was still being collected about the extent of casualties and damage, it said in a statement.

The quake was felt strongly in the greater Jakarta area. High-rises in the capital swayed and some were evacuated.

“The quake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to get out of our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,” said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.

The country of more than 270 million people is struck frequently by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “ring of fire” – an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin.

In February, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude-6.2 quake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

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