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Indonesian Catholics open emergency response posts as the earthquake death toll reaches 268

Rescue workers carry the body of a person who was found under the rubble in a village that was hit by a landslide caused by an earthquake in Cianjur, Indonesia (Photo credit: Rangga Firmansyah/AP)

The Indonesian Catholic community has organized and taken action in response to the emergency situation caused by the earthquake in Cianjur on November 21, 2022, in which 268 people died and hundreds more are still missing. 

This disaster relief initiative was done through collaboration between Caritas Indonesia and its national networks, including the Caritas Diocese of Bogor, the Caritas Diocese of Bandung, and the Institute of Daya Dharma (LDD) of the Archdiocese of Jakarta.

The team has set up stations in the local parishes. With the help of volunteer parishioners, these stations offer public kitchens and health services.

Executive Director of Caritas Indonesia Fredy Rante Taruk said that the Caritas Bureau of Bogor Diocese, which is in charge of the affected areas, was in charge of coordinating.

“The team has gone to the field to collect data and determine the response (required) from the church network,” Taruk said, as cited in UCA News.

According to the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), the Cianjur earthquake claimed 268 lives, injured nearly 7,000 people, and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and government buildings.

The shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake that happened on Monday was centred in the town of Cianjur in West Java, Indonesia's most populous province. Most of the people who died were in houses that collapsed and in erosions that were caused by the earthquake.

More than 2.5 million people reside in the area, with 175,000 living in the region's principal city, also named Cianjur.

The authority said that because some of the most remote areas were still inaccessible, they didn't know how many people have died. 

Indonesia, like other Asian nations, is prone to offshore earthquakes. Monday's 5.6-magnitude earthquake happened in a densely populated area about 10 kilometres (6 miles) deep. - Kasmir Nema

Caritas-Indonesia has opened a portal seeking donations.

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