An earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Java, killing about 162 people and injuring hundreds, according to Ridwan Camil, the governor of the region.
The earthquake measured 5.6 on the Richter scale in the town of Cianjur in West Java, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers, according to data from the US Geological Survey.
Dozens of injured were taken to hospital, while many received treatment abroad.
Rescuers made every effort until nightfall in an effort to rescue others believed to be still trapped under collapsed buildings.
The area where the earthquake occurred is densely populated and prone to landslides with poorly built homes, which led to the collapse of homes in many areas.
There are conflicting reports on the actual number of deaths, and it is difficult to determine a final number in light of the ongoing search and rescue efforts.
The National Agency for Disaster Reduction in Indonesia had earlier announced that at least 62 people had been killed, according to the latest data that was available at the time.
Officials said that more than 13,000 people left their homes, and the agency reported that more than 2,200 homes were damaged.
Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, had said earlier that more than 326 people were injured.
He added that the number of injured and dead is now likely to rise because there are “many people” still trapped in the quake-affected area, with one area closed due to a landslide.
“Many areas witnessed a number of casualties, and about 700 people were injured,” Hermann Suhrmann, head of the administration in the town of Cianjur, told local media.
And Agence France-Presse news agency quoted him earlier as saying that most of the injuries are broken bones, which were sustained by people who were trapped by the rubble inside the buildings.
“Ambulances continue to transport victims from the villages to the hospital,” he said.
“There are many families in the villages who have not been evacuated,” he added.
Videos on social media showed the destruction of homes and shops.
The National Disaster Reduction Agency said in a statement that dozens of buildings were damaged in Cianjur district, including a hospital and an Islamic boarding school.
In the capital, Jakarta, office workers rushed out of buildings in the civic and business district during the quake, which lasted for about a minute.
“I was working when the earthquake happened, and I felt the earthquake clearly. I didn’t do anything during that, and it (the earthquake) got stronger and lasted for some time,” lawyer Mayadita Waluyo told AFP.
“We used to have earthquakes in Jakarta, but now people are very tense, so we panicked too,” an employee, Ahmed Rizwan, told Reuters news agency.
Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, which lies in an area called the “Ring of Fire” as a result of tectonic activity in the Pacific Ocean.
The country has witnessed a history of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, including the Sulawesi earthquake in 2018, which killed more than two thousand people.