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Death tolls from Indonesia quake rises to 321, official says

The death toll from a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia's Java island on Monday, November 21, 2022, has risen to 321, according to the country's national disaster mitigation agency. Rescue workers discovered three more bodies on Sunday, adding to the eight found on Saturday. Most of the victims were killed in the town of Cianjur, West Java, where buildings collapsed or landslides were triggered by the shallow earthquake. Eleven people remain missing, and rescuers will continue searching for them on Monday, concentrating on areas where they are believed to be buried.

More than 62,000 houses were damaged, and over 73,000 people were forced to evacuate to at least 325 shelters due to the quake, said Disaster mitigation agency chief Suharyanto. He also mentioned that authorities were considering extending the initial 14-day emergency response period beyond the deadline, and it would be discussed next week.

Indonesia, which is located on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where tectonic plates collide, frequently experiences volcanic and seismic activity. The November 21 earthquake was the deadliest in the country since a 2018 quake and tsunami that killed over 4,000 people on the Sulawesi island. The incident highlights the vulnerability of the region to natural disasters and underscores the need for preparedness and effective response plans to reduce the loss of life and property damage.

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