WORLD

Death toll from earthquake in Indonesia rises to 23

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The death toll from a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia's Maluku islands rose to 23 Thursday.

The Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said more than 100 people were injured.

The victims were found in Central Maluku, Ambon City and West Seram Regency.

"Falling debris from buildings caused injuries and deaths," said Agus Wibowo, acting head of the Information Data Center and Public Relations of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), in a written statement.

Around 15,000 residents are displaced because their homes were destroyed.

Wibowo said the agency has distributed food and water as well as other basic necessities including tarpaulins, tents, blankets, lamps and mats.

"Tents are urgently needed, as Maluku is experiencing rain," he said, adding children and adolescent survivors need treatment for earthquake trauma.

The temblor with a magnitude of 6.5 struck off Indonesia's Maluku province at 6.48 a.m. (1148GMT Wednesday).

The quake destroyed 171 housing units, with 59 severely damaged, 45 moderately damaged and 67 slightly damaged.

It also destroyed educational facilities, places of worship, office buildings and other public facilities.

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