A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday, killing at least 44 people and injuring hundreds. This information was reported by the news agency AFP, citing local officials.

The earthquake also caused landslides with damage to buildings.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was centered in the Cianjur region of West Java and was felt as far away as the capital, Jakarta, where panicked residents took to the streets.

Adam, a spokesman for the local administration in the city of Cianjur, told AFP that dozens of people had been killed. 44 people have died so far. Thousands of houses can be damaged in the earthquake.

Most of the deaths were counted in just one hospital, with many others in nearby villages yet to be evacuated, said the head of the local administration in the town worst hit by the quake, without giving specific figures.

‘From the information I have so far, in this hospital alone, about 20 people have died and at least 300 are being treated,’ Hermann Suhrmann told broadcaster Metro TV.

Most of them suffered broken bones as they were trapped in the debris of the building.

According to local media reports, the earthquake severely damaged shops, a hospital and an Islamic boarding school in the city.

Broadcasters showed several buildings in Cianjur, with roofs collapsed and debris littering the streets.

Suharman said relatives of the victims gathered at the town’s Sayang Hospital and warned that the death toll could rise as villagers outside the town may still be trapped.

He further said, ‘Currently we are managing people who are in emergency condition in this hospital. Ambulances from the village kept coming to the hospital. There are many families in the village who have not been evacuated.’

At least 14 people have died in the Cianjur area, the country’s disaster chief Suharionto said. But the information is still developing, he said.

Cianjur police chief Donny Hermawan said Metro TV authorities rescued a woman and a child from a landslide but found a third person dead from their injuries.

(21 November)