A shallow earthquake, registered by the BMKG, USGS and EMSC as M5.6, hit West Java, Indonesia at 06:21 UTC on November 21, 2022. All agencies are reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The quake resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people. The number is expected to rise.
The epicenter was located 18.3 km (11.4 miles) WSW of Ciranjang-hilir (population 77 758), 19.9 km (12.4 miles) ENE of Sukabumi (population 276 414), 57.1 km (35.5 miles) W if Bandung (population 1.7 million) and 76 km (47 miles) SSE from the center of Jakarta (population 10.5 million).
232 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 514 000 very strong, 1 131 000 strong and 1 980 000 moderate.
25 aftershocks were registered in the two hours after the mainshock.
The USGS issued an Orange alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response.
Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Indonesia.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick with concrete floor and precast concrete frame with wall construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
Landslides and liquefaction triggered by this earthquake are estimated to be limited in severity and/or spatial extent.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said at a news conference held late November 21 that the death toll has risen to 162. Some 326 people have been injured.
“The majority who died were hit by buildings. Some were hit on the head,” said Herman Suherman, head of the Cianjur regency. “All you can hear here is ambulance sirens everywhere.”1
While the epicenter was in Sukabumi regency, most of the casualties have been reported in the neighboring Cianjur regency.
There are still people trapped under the rubble and the death toll is expected to continue rising.
“There are still many residents trapped at the incident sites, we assume that the injured and dead victims will continue to increase over time,” Kamil said earlier on Monday.2
Rescuers are currently unable to reach some of those trapped, he said, adding that the situation remains chaotic with the possibility of further aftershocks to come.
At least 2 345 homes have been damaged and 13 782 people have been displaced.
Four schools and 52 houses collapsed or were badly damaged, according to the local office of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB).
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
More than 61 000 people have been displaced by the quake and around 2 000 injured, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on November 23.
The death toll, as of the same day, had risen to 271, and 40 people remained missing.
Authorities warned that debris from landslides caused by the earthquake need to be cleared as rain forecast for the coming weeks threatened a second disaster.3
1 More than 160 killed in Indonesian earthquake in West Java, officials say – The Washington Post – November 21, 2022
2 Magnitude 5.6 earthquake leaves at least 162 dead in Indonesia – CNN – November 21, 2022
3 Quake survivors appeal for supplies as rain hampers rescue – The Jakarta Post – November 23, 2022
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
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