At least 250 people have been killed in the powerful 5.6 magnitude earthquake that jolted Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, injuring several people, local media reported.
The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake was near the town of Cianjur in mountainous West Java, about 75km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta. The region is home to over 2.5 million people.
As the rescue operations are underway, local officials have warned about the number of people killed due to the devastating quake. The residents were seen scattered through the streets as buildings crumbled, reported Channel News Asia.
The tremors destroyed many buildings and were felt in Cianjur in West Java at a depth of 10 km. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital, and other public facilities.
Many of the dead were public school students who had finished their classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at several Islamic schools when they collapsed, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said as he announced the new death toll in the remote area.
Due to miscounting, officials offered wildly fluctuating death tolls after an Indonesian stadium disaster last month. Meanwhile, footage from Metro TV showed structures in Cianjur reduced almost entirely to rubble as worried residents huddled outside.
Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the weather and geophysics agency BMKG, advised people to stay outdoors in case of aftershocks. In the two hours after the quake, 25 aftershocks were recorded, BMKG reported, adding there was a danger of landslides, especially in the event of heavy rain.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed grief over the loss of lives and damage to property from the earthquake that jolted the Indonesian island of Java.
“Saddened by the loss of lives and damage to property from the earthquake in Indonesia. Deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Wish a speedy recovery to the injured. India stands with Indonesia in this hour of grief,” PM Modi tweeted.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also condoled the loss of lives in the earthquake. He said that India stands in solidarity with Indonesia and its thoughts are with the bereaved families.
“Saddened to hear news about the loss of life and property in Java, Indonesia from the earthquake. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Wish the injured a speedy recovery. India stands in solidarity with Indonesia at this difficult time,” Jaishankar tweeted.