Disasters & Accidents

Over 260 people dead in Indonesian quake

(Update 1: updates death toll, adds detail throughout, changes headline)

Jakarta, Nov 22 (EFE).- The death toll from a powerful magnitude 5.6 earthquake that shook the Indonesian island of West Java province has climbed to 268, Cinajur government officials reported on Tuesday.

Monday’s earthquake, which occurred at 1.21 pm local time (06:21 GMT) in Cianjur Regency also injured at least 1,083 people while 151 remain missing, according to the latest report from the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB).

“The majority of residents died because they were crushed by the rubble of a collapsed building when the incident occurred,” the BNPB said.

“The local Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) continues to collect data related to the number of fatalities, damage to infrastructure, refugee locations, and urgent needs,” the agency added.

The governor of West Java reported that many of the victims were children who were at a Koranic school at the time the quake struck.

Authorities reported on Tuesday that 22,000 homes were destroyed and more than 58,000 people had been displaced as a result of the damage.

West Java is the most populous province in Indonesia with almost 50 million inhabitants.

At least 118 aftershocks with magnitudes oscillating between 1.5 and 4.2 have been recorded in the region as of Tuesday morning since the main quake.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity in which some 7,000 earthquakes are recorded each year, most of them moderate.

One of the country’s deadliest catastrophes occurred in 2004, when a huge magnitude-9.1 earthquake off the tip of Sumatra generated a tsunami that swept the Indian Ocean, causing more than 227,000 deaths in a dozen nations.EFE


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