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Indonesia: Deadly earthquake death toll rises to 271 – 40 missing

THE 5.6-magnitude earthquake with shallow focal depth hits Indonesia’s most populous province on Monday afternoon (local time), causing severe damage to the town of Sianjur, about 75 kilometers southeast of the capital Jakarta, as well as landslides burying at least one village under tons of soil.

The tragic number of dead arrived at 271 people while another 40 people are missingwhile the aftershocks and the strong rainsthey make the work of the rescuers difficult. Indonesian authorities announced that the debris was hastily removed from the outskirts of Siangjur city in West Java province, which was hardest hit by the earthquake, to prevent flash floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall. But due to bad weather conditions and aftershocks still felt today is hampering the work of rescuers, who are searching for survivors in about ten villages where more than 20,000 houses have been destroyed. The research operations and rescue were today focused on Kugenang, one of the most affected areas, where at least one village is believed to have buried under the mud due to a landslide, reports the APE-MPE.

“We have to be careful in view of a possible second natural disaster, such as landslides,” said the head of the meteorological service Duikorita Karnawati. “We need to remove them quickly materials and the ruins which close them water flows on the highest hills,” he added. Indonesia is located on the “ring of fire” in the Pacific, where tectonic plates meet and which is often faced with strong earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2004 a magnitude earthquake 9.1 pointsoff the island of Sumatra, in northern Indonesia, caused tsunami that hit 14 countries and killed 226,000 people – more than half were Indonesian.

Source: News Beast

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