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Death toll in Indonesia earthquake rises to at least 268

The greatest damage from the 5.6-magnitude earthquake Monday afternoon was in Cianjur, a city south of Jakarta, where 151 people are still missing. 

The death toll from an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java has risen to at least 268, officials said Tuesday, after rescuers recovered more bodies from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

The greatest damage from the 5.6-magnitude earthquake Monday afternoon was in Cianjur, a city south of the country’s capital, Jakarta. Local officials announced the higher death toll in an Instagram post, up from 162 the night before. It is likely to rise still further, with 151 people still missing and more than 1,000 injured.

Rescue efforts were aided Tuesday by improvements in power supplies and phone communications and the arrival of heavy equipment to help move the debris. Trucks from Jakarta also delivered food, tents, blankets and other supplies to people housed in temporary shelters.

Some people may be still trapped under the rubble, said Endra Atmawidjaja, a spokesperson for public works and housing.

“We are racing against time to rescue people,” he said.

President Joko Widodo visited survivors in Cianjur on Tuesday, promising to rebuild infrastructure and provide up to 50 million rupiah ($3,180) to each resident whose house was damaged.

“On behalf of myself and on behalf of the government, I would like to express my deep condolences to the victims and their families,” he said.

Indonesia’s location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin, makes it prone to disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. A 6.2-magnitude earthquake in West Sumatra province killed at least 25 people in February, while an earthquake the same size killed more than 100 people last year in the province of West Sulawesi.

Villagers salvage items from damaged houses following a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.
Aditya Aji / AFP - Getty Images

More than 22,000 homes were damaged in the earthquake, according to the Cianjur government’s Instagram post.

A man reacts as he inspects the damage caused by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Tatan Syuflana / AP

A man inspecting the damage a day after the earthquake. Thousands of people spent the night outdoors for fear of aftershocks.

Men prepare the body of a young earthquake victim for burial in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Tatan Syuflana / AP

The body of a young earthquake victim being prepared for burial in Cianjur on Tuesday. Many of those who died were students taking after-school lessons at Islamic schools that collapsed, according to Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java province.

Residents react as they inspect houses damaged by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Rangga Firmansyah / AP

Kamil said that more than 13,000 people whose homes were heavily damaged were taken to evacuation centers.

Residents inspect houses damaged by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Rangga Firmansyah / AP

“Buildings were completely flattened,” said Dwi Sarmadi, who works for an Islamic educational foundation in a neighboring district.

Villagers carry an injured victim following a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.
Aditya Aji / AFP - Getty Images

Villagers carry an injured victim Tuesday. Hospitals were overwhelmed with patients, many of whom waited for treatment outside.

A villager carries the body of his dead son following a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.
Aditya Aji / AFP - Getty Images

A villager carries the body of his dead son Tuesday.

People salvage items from their damaged house following a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 162 people, with hundreds injured and others missing in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.
Adek Berry / AFP - Getty Images

People trying to salvage belongings from their damaged house. The people of Cianjur, who are known for their piety, live mostly in towns of one- and two-story buildings and in smaller homes in the surrounding countryside.