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A view shows damaged houses after an earthquake in Sukamulya, Cianjur, West Java Province, Indonesia, on Nov. 23, 2022. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)
JAKARTA—The death toll from Monday’s 5.6-magnitude quake in the Indonesian town of Cianjur has risen to 271, the chief of the disaster mitigation agency said on Wednesday, with 40 people still missing.
The shallow 5.6-magnitude quake struck in Indonesia’s most populous Province on Monday afternoon, causing significant damage to the town of Cianjur, about 75 km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta, and burying at least one village under a landslide.
Many of the victims were children who had been at school at the time the quake hit, said Henri Alfiandi, head of National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).
While strong earthquakes of magnitude 6 or 7 are relatively common in Indonesia, often off-shore where fault lines run, Monday’s quake of a lower magnitude had such deadly consequences because it struck on land at a relatively shallow depth.
Straddling the so-called Ring of Fire, a highly seismically active zone where different plates on the earth’s crust meet, Indonesia has a history of devastating earthquakes.
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake off Sumatra island in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people.