Earthquake hits West Java, Indonesia as authorities rush to rescue survivors

Indonesian Red Cross emergency teams are helping survivors of the earthquake get to safety

Indonesian Red Cross emergency teams help survivors of the earthquake in Java in November 2022 get to safety

Photo: Indonesian Red Cross

Jakarta / Kuala Lumpur, 22 November 2022: Thousands of families in the west of the island Java were left reeling as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit the area on the afternoon on Monday, 21 November. Thousands of houses, schools, infrastructure, roads and more have been severely damaged as some are seen in a state of rubble.

The National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure in Indonesia officially reports more than 103 casualties and more than 320 people injured. The numbers are still emerging as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah) are working with authorities to urgently assess ground situation and gather more information.

The Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross, Sudirman Said, said:

“We are devastated to hear about the lives that have been lost by the earthquake. Indonesian Red Cross relief and emergency teams have been deployed to help with evacuations, providing first aid, distribute clean water, establish emergency kitchens and emergency relief, focusing on most affected areas. We also mobilised 5 units of ambulance, medical personnel and volunteers to help with urgent evacuation and ground assessment.

“We are doing all we can to ensure no more lives are lost. We are ensuring that our volunteers and personnel do all they can to help people seek safety and comfort at our emergency shelters where critical relief can be found. We would also urge people to stay calm and to contact authorities for help.”

The earthquake hit the district of Cianjur where the livelihoods of the people thrive around small and medium enterprises revolving around local wear and products. While the earthquake did not trigger tsunami warnings, the people of West Java are no stranger to earthquakes and are doing all they can to stay vigilant for aftershocks and dangerous falling debris. 

Over 13,700 people have been reported displaced while thousands more have lost their homes and are scattered in various emergency shelters.

IFRC Head of Delegation, Indonesia, Elkhan Rahimov, said:

“We are alongside Indonesian Red Cross to closely assess ground situation and determine the immediate needs of the affected community. Volunteers at the frontline are also prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of themselves as they work around the clock to help people get to safety.

“Our first main priority is to serve the affected community by meeting their immediate needs like access to drinking water, shelter and administering first aid. We are focusing our efforts on these while we plan our next phase of longer-term assistance.”

Red Cross personnel continue to respond as landslides, electricity and telecommunications cut off are reported.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

In Kuala Lumpur:
Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830,
[email protected]

In Jakarta:
Annisa Marezqa, +62 812-8103-9155,
[email protected]

Awan Diga Aristo, +62 813-2063-5505,
[email protected]

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