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Indonesia Earthquake: Many Schoolchildren Killed In Building Collapse

Many of those killed and injured in a major earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java were children who were at school when it hit, rescuers say.

Aprizal Mulyadi, 14, said he was trapped after “the room collapsed and my legs were buried under the rubble”.

He said he was pulled to safety by his friend Zulfikar, who then later died after himself becoming trapped.

Search teams are scrambling to find survivors after more than 100 people died and thousands were left homeless.

The 5.6 magnitude quake struck a mountainous region on Monday, causing landslides that buried entire villages near the West Java town of Cianjur.

Victims were crushed or trapped after walls and roofs caved in. “It all happened so fast,” Aprizal told AFP news agency.

A representative of the National Search and Rescue Agency also confirmed that many of the dead were young people.

“Most of the casualties are children because at 1pm, they were still at school,” said Henri Alfiandi.

Authorities say at least 2,200 homes have been flattened and more than 13,000 people evacuated.

Indonesia’s national disaster response agency, the BNPB, earlier on Tuesday said the number of confirmed deaths had risen to 103 with 31 people missing. This number is expected to grow, they have warned.

Earlier, the region’s governor Ridwan Kamil had tweeted that 162 people had died and at least 300 were injured – however that figure could not yet be verified by the national agency.

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, which sits on the “ring of fire” area of tectonic activity in the Pacific.

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