The death toll from the earthquake has risen to 252 in Indonesia

The death toll from the earthquake that hit the city of Cianjur on the Indonesian island of West Java has risen to 252, a local official told AFP on Tuesday.

The local administration of Cianjur has announced the new toll in a post on Instagram. A spokesman for the local administration of West Java, Adam, who bears only one name like many Indonesians, confirmed the new budget to AFP. A 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Java on Monday, causing damage to buildings and shaking some as far as the capital, Jakarta, 100km away, officials said. The earthquake also caused hundreds of injuries. Doctors treated patients in the open, and hospitals in the West Java city of Cianjur were left without electricity for several hours. On Monday, Indonesia’s disaster management agency said 25 people were still trapped under the rubble as night fell. The agency indicated that more than 2,000 homes were damaged and 5,000 people were moved to evacuation centres.

Radwan Kamil specified that electricity was partially restored by evening, without specifying whether power was supplied by generators or by connection to the electricity grid. Kamil had previously said the data indicated that “more than 700 were injured. And given that many people are still stranded at the scene of the disaster, we expect the number of injured and dead to rise as time goes on.”

Local newspapers reported that shops, a hospital and an Islamic college in the city suffered serious damage from the earthquake. THE media they showed several buildings in Cianjur whose roofs had collapsed. “Hundreds or even thousands of houses were damaged,” Adam, a spokesman for the local government of Cianjur, told AFP.

The epicenter was located in West Java’s Cianjur district, according to the USGS, and was felt as far as 100km away in Jakarta when residents in in a panic they got off in square. No major damage was immediately reported in Jakarta.

Attorney Mayadita Walio, 22, described the panic of employees rushing towards emergency exits, saying: “I was working when the ground shook. I clearly felt the shaking.” An AFP correspondent said hundreds of people waited outside after the quake, some wearing hard hats to protect themselves from falling debris.

Indonesia regularly witnesses earthquakes or volcanic eruptions due to its location in the Pacific “ring of fire” where tectonic plates meet. In 2018, the island of Lombok and the neighboring island of Sumbawa were hit by a massive earthquake that killed more than 550 people.

That same year, another 7.5-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit Palu, Sulawesi, killing or missing about 4,300 people.