In Indonesia, an earthquake has killed at least 268 people, with hundreds still missing and many thousands injured.

The shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia in the early afternoon on November 21, 2022, barely six miles below the surface. It struck in the densely populated Cianjur region, just west of Java, causing thousands of homes and buildings to collapse. So far, there have been more than 25 aftershocks of various strengths. Fortunately, the quake was too far inland to trigger a tsunami.

More than 22,000 homes were destroyed and over 58,000 people have been displaced, National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) Major General Suharyanto said on Tuesday.

Among the collapses were more than 50 schools, and these accounted for much of the death toll known so far.

“The majority of those who died were children,” West Java’s governor, Ridwan Kamil, told reporters Monday, adding the death toll was likely to increase further. “So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools.”

According to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, those displaced will be given compensation of up to $3,200 each for their damaged and destroyed homes, with the aim of rebuilding with greater earthquake resistance.

Cianjur is a populous, mountainous region, with the threat of landslides also complicating matters and making it hazardous for rescue efforts to be continued in many areas. Active landslides have closed roads into several areas, and one is reported to have damaged a hospital.

Indonesia has been hit hard by earthquakes lately, with a 6.2 quake in February in West Sumatra province, and a second in January last year, the same size. An island near Java has also been seeing near-constant volcanic eruptions.

Hospitals in the region are massively overloaded, with extended emergency treatment being set up in tents in their parking lots. Hospitals are also among those affected by power outages, the last thing anyone needs.

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