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Indonesia counts dying toll after West Java earthquake

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MEDAN, Indonesia — Aid employees and officers are scrambling to reply to a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia’s West Java province on Monday. As rescuers combed by the rubble for survivors, confusion unfold over the precise dying toll, with a number of authorities sources releasing completely different numbers.

Representatives of the Cianjur department of Indonesia’s catastrophe mitigation company mentioned late Monday night time that the dying toll had reached 162 — a quantity additionally shared by the area’s governor, Ridwan Kamil, with native reporters. But on Tuesday morning, employees on the company informed The Washington Post that they had been nonetheless verifying the 162 determine.

Abdul Muhari, the company’s nationwide head, mentioned in an interview Tuesday that the official dying toll stood at 103. While others — together with Kamil — have claimed that almost all of the casualties had been kids, it’s nonetheless too early to inform, Muhari mentioned. More than 30 folks in Cianjur had been nonetheless lacking as of Tuesday and it’ll take days for officers to determine and confirm who was misplaced within the quake, notably in additional rural segments of the affected space, he mentioned.

“We are waiting for the hospitals in Cianjur to send us the data that they have about the sex and ages of the victims,” Muhari mentioned.

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Located about 60 miles away from the capital, Jakarta, the Cianjur space is house to about 2.2 million residents. Monday’s quake, which diminished rows of buildings into rubble and briefly reduce off electrical energy to complete communities, may very well be the deadliest one in Indonesia since 2018, when twin disasters — a 7.5-magnitude earthquake adopted by a tsunami — killed greater than 2,000 on the central island of Sulawesi.

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Most of these killed in Monday’s incident died after being hit by collapsing particles, officers mentioned. At least 13 colleges had been affected and greater than 7,000 folks have been displaced from their properties, in keeping with Muhari’s company. Officials at the moment are in want of emergency provide gadgets like tarpaulins, tents, drugs and consuming water, he mentioned.

Tan reported from Singapore.

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