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More than 50 people killed, hundreds wounded in M5.6 Indonesia quake

The national disaster agency (BNPB), whose data lagged behind local officials on the ground on Monday, told a news conference up to 700 people had been injured and more than 300 homes damaged or destroyed. Courtesy Daily Sabah

MORE than 50 people were killed and wounded hundreds in a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s West Java province on Monday (Nov 21), with rescuers trying to reach survivors trapped under the rubble as aftershocks hit.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil confirmed 56 deaths from the quake, whose epicenter was the town of Cianjur, about 75 km southeast of the capital, Jakarta.

The national disaster agency (BNPB), whose data lagged behind local officials on the ground on Monday, told a news conference up to 700 people had been injured and more than 300 homes damaged or destroyed.

Electricity was down in the area and disrupting communications efforts, Mr Herman Suherman, a government official from Cianjur, said, adding that people in the area of Cugenang were unable to be evacuated because of a landslide blocking access.

Footage from news channel Metro TV showed what appeared to be hundreds of victims being treated in one hospital parking lot and some buildings in Cianjur reduced almost entirely to rubble as worried residents huddled outside.

Other TV channels showed victims hooked up to intravenous drips and being treated on the sidewalk.

Officials were still working to determine the full extent of the damage caused by Monday’s quake, which struck on land in Cianjur at a depth of 10km, according to the weather and geophysics agency. 

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