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Destruction caused by the earthquake in West Java this week (Caritas Australia/Laz Harfa)

Caritas agencies are responding after more than 50,000 people were displaced in the wake of the magnitude 5.6 earthquake that struck Indonesia this week. Source: Caritas Australia.

The earthquake in West Java killed more than 260 people, many of them school children, and injured over 1000. It is the deadliest earthquake in Indonesia since the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami and has left extensive damage to buildings including schools, a mosque, boarding school, government office and thousands of homes. 

The earthquake was so strong that it was felt in Jakarta, more than 75km away. Warnings have been issued to residents in the affected areas for potential hazards such as landslides and flash floods. 

Caritas Australia’s partners are responding to support communities who require immediate assistance and assessing the most urgent needs of people impacted by the earthquake including medical services, emergency shelters, sleeping supplies, clean water and food. 

While a 5.6 magnitude earthquake would typically be expected to cause only light damage to buildings and other structures, this earthquake caused significant damage and loss of life. 

“Inadequate infrastructure can mean that buildings that are not earthquake-proof are at risk of collapsing. At least 80 schools suffered damage during the earthquake and many of the casualties were children attending school,” said Damaris Pfendt, Caritas Australia’s humanitarian emergencies lead.

“The damage is extensive. The pictures our partners in Indonesia are showing us are of great concern. We need to respond to the immediate need right away, but there will also be a long recovery process.” 

Donations: Asia Emergency Appeal.


Over 50,000 displaced in the wake of Indonesian earthquake (Caritas Australia)