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Indonesia earthquake: death toll jumps to 603; local authorities

Officials confirmed that previous unreported fatalities in the worst-hit town have increased the death toll from an earthquake that struck Indonesia's main island of Java last month by hundreds, to 603, a local administration official said Friday.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Java: Officials confirmed that previous unreported fatalities in the worst-hit town have increased the death toll from an earthquake that struck Indonesia’s main island of Java last month by hundreds, to 603, a local administration official said  on Friday.

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On November 21, a shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Cianjur in West Java, the most populated province in Indonesia. The majority of casualties were caused by buildings collapsing or landslides triggering.

According to Cianjur local administration spokesman Adam, who goes by one name like many Indonesians, the new toll — up from a previously reported figure of 334 — was based on data gathered from residents throughout the town.

Residents of Cianjur frequently bury the deceased immediately. “Those who passed away were immediately buried by family due to the frantic circumstances; the local health agency was not informed,” he claimed.

Herman Suherman, the district chief of Cianjur, provided a revised death toll of 603 on Friday, as per the state news agency Antara.

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Only a few successful rescues were reported in the days that followed the earthquake, including one that included a six-year-old kid and was dubbed a “miracle” by rescuers. Many more were discovered buried beneath the rubble.

According to officials, the earthquake destroyed more than 62,000 homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 73,000 people to at least 325 shelters.

Indonesia’s location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates meet, causes regular seismic and volcanic activity.

 

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