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Powerful earthquake kills 57 in Indonesia

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: At least 57 killed, another 400 injured, says disaster agency
  • Tsunami watch quickly expires, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says
  • Older buildings damaged in Tasikmalaya in Indonesian island of Java, witness says
  • Series of quakes hit Indonesia's Sumatra Island three weeks ago
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CIANJUR, Indonesia (CNN) -- More than a day after a major earthquake jolted Indonesia's Java Island, killing at least 57 people, there is still no word from remote villages along the coast, a relief worker told CNN Thursday.

Deustche Bank employees exit their building in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday after a major 7.0 earthquake.

Soldiers try to dig out the body of a victim buried by a landslide caused by the earthquake.

"This earthquake has injured hundreds of people and (destroyed or damaged) thousands of houses," World Vision's Katarina Hardono said.

"We worry that the number can be easily more because in many places, actually the coastal areas, we still (haven't gotten) any news."

Rescuers are still searching for dozens of people feared trapped in a quake-triggered landslide in Cianjur in West Java. They pulled several bodies from the rubble Thursday bringing the death toll from the quake to 57.

"The death count has been thankfully low, but we have to remember that tens of thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed and children and adults are urgently in need of relief items," said Hardono, who spoke to CNN from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

Rainfall Thursday hampered the rescue efforts in Cianjur, where the landslide buried at least 11 homes where 32 people live, local officials said. Video Watch description of the evacuation after the quake hit »

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Cianjur, and vowed to free up nearly $500,000 (5 billion rupiahs) for emergency response efforts, according to the state-run Antara news agency.

He said there was no need for foreign assistance just yet.

"Until now the Indonesian government is still able to handle it by itself using existing national resources," he said, according to Antara.

Rescuers in Cianjur used their hands and rudimentary tools to try to pry away the rocks, some that were bigger than cars. No heavy machinery could be brought in to help in the rescue effort because many roads in the area were blocked.

The 7.0-magnitude temblor jolted the island on Wednesday shortly before 3 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET). More than 400 people were injured. Video Watch how buildings swayed during quake »

The temblor rocked high-rise buildings in Jakarta, prompting a mass evacuation in the capital's central business district. Swimming pool shakes during quake

"I was on the 13th floor of our office building, and you know we could feel the building (shake) from left to right," said CNN's Andy Saputra. "We all ran to the fire escape and escaped from there."

Indonesia is no stranger to major earthquakes. It is located on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


In 2004, an earthquake measuring at least 9.0 in magnitude struck off the coast of the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, triggering a major tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed more than 200,000 people in 11 countries.

About three weeks ago, a series of earthquakes -- ranging in magnitude from 4.7 to 6.7 -- struck off the western coast of Sumatra. At least seven people were injured and one building collapsed.

CNN Radio's Chris Chandler contributed to this report.

All About IndonesiaEarthquakesJakartaIndian Ocean

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