INDONESIA: Children Flee Classrooms with At Least One Student among Dozens Killed as Earthquake Hits West Java
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Nov. 21, 2022)— Children fled from their schools on Monday afternoon as a massive earthquake hit Indonesia's main island of Java, with more than 60 people reported killed, including one teacher and a student, and about 25 believe trapped in collapsed buildings, Save the Children said.
The earthquake of magnitude 5.6 was centered in the Cianjur region of West Java province, triggering landslides and causing buildings to collapse, including schools where classes were underway.
Provisional data released by Indonesian authorities said about 51 education units were affected, including 30 elementary schools, 12 junior high schools, one high school, five vocational schools, and one special school.
Early reports showed one teacher, and one student died in the disaster, with nine seriously injured and nine others slightly injured. However, the numbers of fatalities and injuries were changing rapidly.
SMP Junior High School 5, one of the schools involved in a Save the Children program, was affected by the earthquake, with teacher Mia Saharosa describing what happened.
"It was a shock to all of us as it occurred in the middle of the learning process … We all gathered in the field; children were terrified and cried, worried about their families at home. We hug each other, strengthen each other, and continue to pray."
Selina Sumbung, CEO and Chairman of Save the Children Indonesia, said an emergency response team from Save the Children is heading to Cianjur early Tuesday to assess the initial impact of the disaster and determine the basic needs of children and families regarding health and nutrition, shelter, and protection.
Save the Children is preparing school tents, back-to-school kits, educational recreation kits, and family hygiene kits to distribute.
In addition, Save the Children will collaborate with various Indonesian institutions and other humanitarian organizations to prepare a joint need assessment to identify the overall needs of people affected by the earthquake.
Children are one of the most vulnerable populations affected in disasters which can leave long-lasting trauma. Save the Children plan to conduct psychosocial first aid (PFA) to provide mental and psychological support for children.
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Thank you for signing up! Now, you’ll be among the first to know how Save the Children is responding to the most urgent needs of children, every day and in times of crisis—and how your support can make a difference. You may opt-out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.