The Indonesian Island of Java suffered an earthquake on Monday, November 21. The earthquake, which was reported to be a magnitude of 5.6, struck the Cianjur region in West Java Province. The devastation caused by the earthquake resulted in the destruction and collapse of buildings. Beyond the destruction, the earthquake resulted in the deaths and injuries of many residents. According to various reports, at least 268 people died, 151 are missing, and more than 1,000 are injured.
58,000 people have been displaced from their homes and 22,000 homes were destroyed by the earthquake.
Tremors from the earthquake were felt across the Indonesian islands, including in Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the areas affected by the earthquake on Tuesday, November 22. Widodo said victims of the disaster who had suffered extreme damage to their homes would receive compensation worth $3,200. He also called for earthquake-resistant homes to be built in the future.
The Governor of West Java, Ridwan Kamil, expressed his sadness at the loss of so many lives at a press conference on the evening after the earthquake occurred. The area in which the earthquake took place is well known for having a significant number of schools and mosques. The majority of people who died as a result of the natural disaster were children. While public schools had completed their classes for the day, students were attending extra lessons when the earthquake occurred. “The majority of those who died were children,” Kamil said. “So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools.”
The area in which the natural disaster took place has been left in terrible condition. Several major buildings, including a hospital, were damaged with power outages occurring in the area, hampering rescue operations in the process. Footage from Indonesian TV showed buildings destroyed, roads cracked, and houses damaged. No estimate has been given regarding the cost of damage. The number of dead and injured people is expected to rise.
Indonesia is in an area infamous for volcanoes and earthquakes with the latter known for also causing landslides. The last time an earthquake occurred in the country was in February 2022, killing 25 and injuring 460.