A powerful earthquake killed at least 162 people and injured hundreds on Indonesia’s main island on Monday, international media reported on Tuesday.
According to the Associated Press, many of the dead were public school students who had finished their classes for the day when the building collapsed, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said as he announced the latest death toll in the remote, rural area.
With the death toll expected to rise, hospitals were overwhelmed by injured people. No estimates were immediately available because of the area’s far-flung, rural population, but many structures collapsed, and residents and emergency workers braced for grim news.
Estimated 175,000 people live in the town of Cianjur, part of a mountainous district of the same name with more than 2.5 million people. The people of Cianjur live in towns of one and two-story buildings and in smaller homes in the surrounding countryside.
Several landslides closed roads around the Cianjur district. Power outages were reported. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency recorded at least 25 aftershocks.
Indonesia — a country of more than 270 million people — is frequently struck 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. — Agencies