“The number of victims is recorded at 271 people and 40 others are missing,” the head of the National Disaster Management Agency, Suharyanto, said at a joint press conference on Wednesday.
Rainfall and poor access to quake-hit areas in Cianjur district of West Java province have hampered the rescue operation, he said, referring to the 5.6-magnitude quake that struck the western province on Monday.
The quake forced 61,908 people to flee their homes in the district as it destroyed 56,320 houses and infrastructure facilities, including school buildings, roads, a bridge, health facilities and office buildings, it said.
According to Suharyanto, the quake also injured 2,043 residents, who were being treated in tents erected outside hospitals due to the aftershocks.
A total of 14 evacuation centers have been set up, where the needs of evacuees are taken care of, Suharyanto said, adding that the helicopters were distributing aid to some remote quake-hit areas.
Some 171 aftershocks have occurred as of Wednesday, said Suko Prayitno Adi, a geophysics deputy at the agency for meteorology, climatology and geophysics.
Although the magnitude of the aftershocks was low, they should be treated with caution as the epicenters were on land and shallow, agency chief Dwikorita Karnawati said.
She said the agency predicted the aftershocks would end within four days. ■