Indonesia
Indonesia iStock

A strong earthquake ripped through Java, Indonesia on Monday, knocking down buildings and leaving at least 162 dead and numerous injured in its wake.

Many of the victims of the magnitude 5.6 quake were students who had ended classes early and were studying at Islamic schools when the buildings began to collapse, the Associated Press reported.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said that over 13,000 people were evacuated after their homes were damaged. The injured were being treated on stretchers and blankets, with some in parking lots and balconies outside overcrowded hospitals in Cianjur, which is a three hours drive from Java.

The death toll is predicted to increase, but an estimate has not yet been determined due to the area’s rural setting. Around 175,000 people live Cianjur, where the earthquake’s epicentre occurred, a remote town in a mountain area of over 2.5 million people. Besides multiple damaged buildings, including hospitals, there were also landslides that forced road closures.

The quake was felt throughout the province of West Java and also in the greater Jakarta area, where high rise buildings shook leading to evacuations.