Emergency in Indonesia as quake claims 2,021 lives
At least 2,021 people were killed and thousands injured when a strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's densely-populated island of Java on Saturday, the social affairs ministry said.india Updated: May 27, 2006 19:16 IST
At least 2,021 people were killed and thousands injured when a strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's densely-populated island of Java on Saturday, the social affairs ministry said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government quickly declared an emergency status in the quake-hit areas as reports said more than 1,000 people were injured in the temblor.
Images on local Metro television showed collapsed roofs and crumbling concrete buildings, as well as a screaming victim inside the hospital being treated on the tile floor.
"Dozens have come to the hospital, but it's overloaded, so they're being treated outside in the corridors and elsewhere," Sugianto, an official at Bethesda Hospital was quoted by the state-run news agency, Antara, as saying.
Agung, an official at Jakarta's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said: "The quake's epicentre was in the Indian Ocean, about 37 km south of Yogyakarta, about 450 km south-east of Jakarta.
It occurred about 33 km beneath the seabed."
The US Geological Survey reported the quake to be magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale, according to its website, and 25 km south-southwest of Yogyakarta, 17.1 km beneath the seabed.
The latest quake sent panicked coastal residents fleeing to higher ground for fear of a tsunami, but experts from the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said no giant waves had been reported.
The airport in Yogyakarta was shut down because of cracks on the runway and a collapsed waiting room, and the railway from Yogyakarta to nearby Solo was closed after one of the stations collapsed, according to Transportation Minister Hatta Rajasa.
Electricity was cut and phone connections were poor, making it difficult to assess the damage, but local police said that at least five of six districts in the two provinces had been affected, and that thousands of homes, both wood and concrete structures, may have collapsed.
The quake triggered a landslide in Boyolali district, cutting off road connections with other areas.
It was the latest of a series of earthquake in recent days to jolt Indonesia, located on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where volcanoes and earthquake are commonplace.
In December 2004, a massive nine-magnitude undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that left some 168,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia, mostly in the worst hit province of Aceh.