UNICEF confirms 100 children killed in Indonesia earthquake

Woman and child displaced by the Cianjur earthquake (Indonesia) – Algi Febri Sugita/ZUMA Press Wir / DPA

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has confirmed that a hundred children under the age of 15 have died in the earthquake that struck Indonesia on Monday, killing 310 people so far.

The earthquake occurred at 13.21 hours (local time), with its epicenter ten kilometers south of Cianjur, according to the Indonesian National Meteorological, Geophysical and Climatological Agency (BMKG), which ruled out the risk of tsunami. For its part, the BNPB confirmed that the earthquake had shaken the capital, Jakarta, with no casualties reported in the city.

More than 2,000 people were injured, 56,000 houses were damaged and more than 62,000 people were forced to evacuate to shelters, leaving many homeless and without adequate supplies.

In its estimate, which covers the period up to last Thursday, UNICEF confirms that the number of children killed represents one third of the total death toll.

In addition, UNICEF has found that 45 schools have been affected in the earthquake zone and estimates that 18 students and five teachers have died, and 267 students and 10 teachers have been injured.

The UN fund expects «humanitarian needs to increase in the affected areas as ongoing search and rescue operations reveal the actual number of casualties and the scale of the need.»

The Indonesian Executive is distributing key supplies, including UNICEF-supported disaster preparedness supplies that will benefit some 2,500 children.

These include educational supplies such as temporary school tents, «schools-in-a-box» with pens, notebooks and pencils, and early childhood development kits with age-appropriate games, drawing materials and toys.

The government is also distributing materials provided by UNICEF to support children coping with the emotional distress and trauma caused by the impact of the earthquake.

«UNICEF stands ready to provide any additional support the Indonesian Government may need to protect children during this difficult time,» he says.