Death toll jumps to 268 from earthquake in Java, Indonesia

(JAKARTA, Indonesia) — A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Java island in Indonesia on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

At least 268 people have died as of about 5:30 p.m. local time, according to the head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency who was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.

So far, a total of 1,083 people have been injured with 151 people still missing or unaccounted for, officials said in Tuesday’s press conference. More than 58,000 people have been displaced with the numbers still expected to rise.

Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency said on Twitter that it had also measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.6. Preliminary data from the USGS had previously placed the quake at a magnitude of 5.4.

The quake struck at a depth of about 10 km, with an epicenter about 18 km southwest of Ciranjang-hilir, Indonesia, USGS said.

Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, went to the site of the quake and expressed his condolences.

“On behalf of myself, on behalf of the government, I would like to express my deep condolences, condolences, for the earthquake in Cianjur Regency, West Java Province,” Widodo said in his remarks. “And most importantly, I am happy that the access road that was buried yesterday has been able to be opened until this morning, thank God, and this will be continued with speed in handling, especially rescue and evacuation for those who are still buried.”

Head of the National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) Lieutenant General Suharyanto said that officials “can’t say yet how many of the 268 [deaths] are children.”

“[The earthquake] coincided with many children who were reciting the Quran,” he said. “So indeed some of those who have been identified are children. Whether the percentage of 268 [deaths] is a lot of children, tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5 pm [local time] we will answer.”

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