11/22/2022, 12.31
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Earthquake in Cianjur: 252 dead, mostly children

by Mathias Hariyadi

Some schools collapsed, trapping students in the rubble. The Franciscan Sisters' school also suffered serious damage. Thousands of people continue to be transported to the local hospital, which had to set up an external relief area due to the power outages. 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Dozens of people, mostly minors, are reported to have died after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Cianjur district in West Java province yesterday, also affecting the capital about a hundred kilometres away. 

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMS), so far 700 people have been injured by the collapse of buildings, 300 of them with serious injuries, 31 are missing and at least 14,000 citizens are homeless. The death toll rose from 103 yesterday to 252 today, including many children trapped in the rubble after some schools collapsed. Hundreds of rescuers are working to bring those trapped to safety. At least 2,345 houses have been destroyed and some roads remain blocked.

"In Sukabumi, we did not suffer any damage," Sister Vincentia, head of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters, tells AsiaNews. "But the Mardi Yuana Catholic school in Cianjur suffered serious damage. A teacher at the institute, Mr Agus, added that many family members of his students were also victims of yesterday's quake.

"We were panic-stricken and had to quickly leave our workplaces on the 10th floor and go to the lobby," explains Sansan, an accountant in a private company in Jakarta.

This morning, President Joko Widodo visited the affected locations by car to ensure that access to Cianjur has been restored, after a landslide had blocked the main entrance route.

Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to be transported to the local hospital. However, the high influx of patients and the continuous power cuts have made it necessary to set up an open-air rescue facility. According to local authorities, it could take up to three days to restore the power supply in the district.

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