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The Indonesia earthquake has killed more than 160 people, and it may be the deadliest of 2022

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Medan, Indonesia – More than 160 people were killed in 5.6 magnitude earthquake which struck the Indonesian province of West Java on Monday at 1:21 pm local time, according to local officials.

Disaster management officials in Cianjur district, near the epicenter, issued a statement late Monday saying that at least 162 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the disaster, which is believed to be the deadliest this year in Indonesia, the prone country. for earthquakes. . This represents a significant jump from the numbers announced earlier in the day and reflects the ongoing efforts to extract victims from the rubble.

“The vast majority of those who died were hit in the buildings. Some were hit in the head,” said Hermann Suhrmann, Cianjur district chief. “All you hear here are ambulance sirens everywhere.”

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More than 2,200 homes have been damaged, according to officials, with nearly 13,000 people displaced. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake occurred at a depth of only six miles (10 kilometers), which made it even more devastating.

Local television footage showed scenes of chaos as crowds of injured people, some bleeding in bandages, rushed to hospitals and clinics for treatment. Witnesses said some were taken away in ambulances, but others, including young children, were taken away on motorbikes or carried away by relatives.

Patients at Cianjur Hospital, some on stretchers, had to be evacuated outside for fear the building might collapse. Local residents said that some members of the crowd ran inside to retrieve tables and other equipment to move the injured to safe locations.

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An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale killed dozens and injured hundreds in the Indonesian province of West Java on November 21 (Video: Reuters)

Ricky Susan, a local journalist in Cianjur, said he was having coffee in the military barracks when the earthquake struck. By the time he fled outside, the building behind him was still shaking violently, and across the barracks, a convenience store was destroyed.

He said, “I saw a group of small market workers standing outside the ruins, and they were all crying.” “They told me that one of them could not get out and was buried under the rubble.”

Suharyanto, the head of the National Disaster Management Agency, said the priority is to rescue the injured and transport them for medical treatment. Like many Indonesians, he uses a single name.

Access to the affected area is likely to be problematic after the earthquake, which appears to have caused significant damage to the infrastructure in the area. Electricity and mobile phone service was patchy in parts of Cianjur.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency, said during a press conference that the earthquake triggered a landslide on the outskirts of Cianjur, cutting roads to the adjacent Puncak Pass, a mountain road in West Java.

She added that 45 aftershocks were recorded, but no tsunami warning was issued.

People reportedly felt the earthquake in the neighboring cities of Sukabumi and Bandung. Residents in the capital, Jakarta, about 60 miles (100 km) northwest of Cianjur, also felt a strong tremor when the quake struck, and some buildings were evacuated.

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Indonesia is located in a seismic zone and frequently experiences earthquakes, which can cause great losses especially when followed by tsunamis. In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami occurred Central Sulawesi More than 2,000 people have been killed, according to the United Nations. In 2009, an earthquake hit South Sumatra It resulted in 1,117 deaths.

Indonesia also often experiences extreme weather events and other natural disasters towards the end of the year, when heavy monsoon rains hit, which can cause floods and mudslides.

“We need to remain vigilant,” Ridwan Kamel, the governor of West Java province, told local reporters, adding that the government was ready to respond to any aftershocks or other emergencies.

“This is the disaster season at the end of the year, which is scary,” he added.

Rebecca Tan in Singapore contributed to this report.