A powerful earthquake in Indonesia has left at least 32 people dead and forced thousands more to leave their homes.
The magnitude seven quake struck on the country’s main island, Java, and the epicentre was a few hundred kilometres from the capital, Jakarta, where dozens of people were injured. One hotel worker in Jakarta said: “I was checking some stuff in the office when I felt the tremor. I left the building immediately. It’s very rare but I knew it was an earthquake.” “Everything started swaying then we all rushed out of the office,” said a bank employee. Towns to the south of Jakarta nearer the epicentre suffered more extensive damage. In the town of Tasikmalaya one eyewitness said only wooden houses remain standing. The country’s disaster management agency said the provisional death toll of 32 could rise much higher, as communication with coastal areas has been totally cut off. A tsunami alert issued just after the quake was later withdrawn.