As rescuers continued looking for survivors who were thought to be trapped under the wreckage amid a series of aftershocks, the death toll from a magnitude 5.6 earthquake that struck Java, the main island of Indonesia, on Monday has increased to 162, with hundreds injured and still missing.
According to West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, the massive quake’s epicentre was close to the town of Cianjur in mountainous West Java, around 75 kilometres (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta. Cianjur is home to more than 2.5 million people, and most of the town was damaged.
Most of Cianjur’s population resides in towns with one- and two-story structures and smaller residences in the nearby countryside.
According to Kamil, many victims were public school students who had finished their day’s classes and took after-hours classes at various Islamic schools when they passed away.
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According to health officials, the number of fatalities is anticipated to increase, but no updated estimates were immediately available.
More than 13,000 people whose homes had sustained significant damage were transferred to evacuation centres, according to Kamil, who also noted that 326 other people had been hurt.
“So many structures fell and broke. Residents are imprisoned in remote locations. So, we’re assuming that the number of casualties and injuries will increase over time,” Kamil said at a press briefing late on Monday.