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Indonesia Earthquake: Death toll rises to 268, many still missing

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At least 268 people were killed, morethan 1000 people are hurt and many are still missing after 5.6 magnitude quake struck Indonesia’s main island of Java.

More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia’s main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 268 people.

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With many missing, some remote areas still unreachable and more than 1,000 people injured in the 5.6 magnitude quake, the death toll was likely to rise. Hospitals near the epicenter on the densely populated island were already overwhelmed, and patients hooked up to IV drips lay on stretchers and cots in tents set up outside, awaiting further treatment.

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More than 12,000 army personel were deployed Wednesday to increase the strength of search efforts that being carried out by more than 2,000 joint forces of police, the search and rescue agency and volunteers, said Suharyanto, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief, Indonesian media reported.

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58,000 survivors were moved to shelters and more than 1,000 people were injured, with nearly 600 of them still receiving treatment for serious injuries.

Rescuers had recovered 268 bodies from collapsed houses and landslides that triggered by the earthquake, and at least 151 still reported missing. But not all of the dead have been identified, so it’s possible some the bodies pulled from the rubble are of people on the missing list.

Rescue operations were focused on about a dozen villages in Cianjur, where people are still believed trapped, Suharyanto said.

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In a virtual news conference on Tuesday evening, Suharyanto said that more than 22,000 houses in Cianjur were damaged and the agency was still collecting data on damaged houses and buildings in the town.

In 2004, an earthquake measuring at least 9.1 magnitude struck west of Indonesia and set off an Indian Ocean tsunami in a disaster that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

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New Pak Army chief warns India of ‘any misadventure’

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Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Asim Munir, has warned India of strict action in case of any ‘misadventure’, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, DAWN.com reported.

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The military’s media wing said that the newly-appointed Army chief visited frontline troops in the Rakhchikri Sector along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday, where he was briefed on the latest situation and operational preparedness of the formation, The News reported.

The ISPR said the Army chief interacted with the officers and soldiers and appreciated their high morale, professional competence and combat readiness while performing their duties under challenging conditions.

“We have noticed highly irresponsible statements from Indian leadership on Gilgit-Baltistan and Jammu and Kashmir recently. Let me make it categorically clear, Pakistan’s armed forces are ever ready, not only to defend every inch of our motherland, but to take the fight back to the enemy if ever war is imposed on us,” General Munir said, The News reported.

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The Army chief also said that any misconception resulting in misadventure will always be met with full might of the armed forces backed by a resilient nation.

“Indian state will never be able to achieve its nefarious designs,” General Munir said, as per the report.

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Earlier on arrival, Corps Commander Rawalpindi, Lieutenant General Shahid Imtiaz, received the COAS.

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International

Indonesia earthquake toll reaches 310

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The death toll from an earthquake that struck Indonesia’s Java island early this week rose to 310 after rescuers found more bodies under landslides, an official said. At least 24 people remain missing, ABC news reported.

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More than 1,400 rescuers have been searching through the rubble since the magnitude 5.6 quake, which injured more than 2,000 people.

The head of the National Disaster Management Agency, Suharyanto, who uses one name, said rescuers will continue searching until rebuilding begins.

“We will do it up to the last person. There is no reduction whatsoever, in strength, enthusiasm, or the equipment,” Suharyanto said.

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He said distribution of food and other aid is improving and is reaching more people in 110 evacuation locations.

The disaster agency said the earthquake damaged at least 56,000 houses and displaced at least 36,000 people. Hundreds of public facilities were destroyed, including 363 schools.

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An earthquake of that strength would not typically cause such serious damage. But Monday’s quake was shallow and shook a densely populated area that lacks earthquake-resistant infrastructure.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin known as the “Ring of Fire.”

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Lt Gen Asim Munir appointed as new Pakistan Army chief

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Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday formally approved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s nominations for the next army chief, hours after receiving a summary in this regard, DAWN.com reported.

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Lt Gen Asim Munir has been named as the chief of army staff and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been named as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The confirmation of the president’s approval was given in a statement issued by the Aiwan-e-Sadr, cited by DAWN.com

“The president has promoted Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir HI(M) to the rank of General with immediate effect and appointed him as Chief of Army Staff with effect from 29th November 2022,” the press release said.

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The statement said that the promotions and appointments were made under article 243(4) (a) and (b) and Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

“In this regard, the President has signed the summary received in his office, today,” it added.

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