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Breaking: Indonesia earthquake: Death toll rises to 268 as rescuers search for survivors

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Indonesian rescue workers were racing to reach people still trapped in rubble one day after an earthquake struck the main island of Java, as the death toll rose to 268.

Monday afternoon’s quake, centred in the Cianjur region of West Java province, struck at a depth of 6.2 miles (10km), triggering landslides and damaging buildings, including thousands of homes.

The number of people killed is unclear. In an Instagram post on Tuesday the local government said 252 were confirmed dead, with 31 missing, 377 injured and 7,060 displaced.

Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, said the majority of the dead were children, many of them students taking extra lessons. “So many incidents occurred at several Islamic schools,” he said.

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Authorities were operating “under the assumption that the number of injured and [dead] will rise with time”.

Provisional data released by the authorities and cited by Save the Children said about 51 education sites were affected, including 30 elementary schools, 12 junior high schools, one high school, five vocational schools and one special school.

At a local hospital, overwhelmed by the number of patients, the injured lay on the floor on mattresses and blankets, or under makeshift tents. On Monday night, victims were treated in the dark, under torchlight, due to widespread power cuts.

“Everything collapsed beneath me and I was crushed beneath this child,” Cucu, a 48-year-old resident, told Reuters from the crowded hospital parking area. “Two of my kids survived, I dug them up … Two others I brought here, and one is still missing,” she said through tears.

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BNPB said at least 25 people were still buried under the rubble in Cianjur as darkness fell on Monday. Efforts to reach victims been complicated by power failures, damaged roads and more than 80 aftershocks.

Details later….

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