The toll from the earthquake that struck Indonesia earlier this week has risen to 310 as rescuers found more bodies buried under debris, officials told the Associated Press on Friday.
At least 24 persons are still missing, the officials said.
The epicentre of the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 5.6, was the Cianjur region in the country’s West Java province and the tremors took place at a shallow depth of 10 km. Authorities estimate that the earthquake damaged at least 56,000 houses and displaced at least 36,000 residents.
On Friday, bodies were recovered in two areas of the Cianjur district where tons of mud, rocks and broken trees got accumulated due to landslides triggered by the earthquake, Henri Alfiandi, the chief of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, told AP.
The country’s National Disaster Management Agency chief Suharyanto said that rescuers will continue searching for more bodies until the process to rebuilding begins.
“We will do it up to the last person. There is no reduction whatsoever, in strength, enthusiasm, or the equipment,” Suharyanto said.
Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity, leading to earthquakes and tsunamis. This is because of its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire where tectonic plates collide.
In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake had hit the coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed around 2.2 lakh people in the area. Around 1.7 lakhs died in Indonesia.
In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake, followed by a tsunami, in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island had left over 4,300 people dead or missing.
In 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.