Cianjur, W Java (ANTARA) - A joint team of search and rescue workers continued their efforts to locate 14 missing earthquake victims in Cianjur District, West Java, on Sunday, Head of SAR Agency-Bandung Office Jumaril said.

The rescuers focused their search efforts on the areas of Warung Sate Shinta, Cijedil, and Kampung Cicadas by considering reports of missing persons there, he said.

"All personnel of the National SAR Agency (Basarnas) and volunteers dispatched to the targeted areas of personnel will be optimized. It is part of our strategy in the search operation," he said.

Bloodhounds were also involved in finding the missing quake victims, he said, adding that the search operation was also supported by backhoes.

Weather condition and aftershocks have seriously challenged the search efforts since the first day of the catastrophe, he said.

Therefore, the Basarnas has placed safety officers in every targeted search area to enable them to observe situation on the ground, he said.

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake had jolted Cianjur District in West Java Province on November 21 at 1:21 p.m. local time, killing at least 318 people and injuring 7,729 others.

The quake, whose epicenter was located about 10 km away from Cianjur, at a depth of 10 km, also damaged 2,345 houses and forced 73,693 residents to take refuge.

Despite the absence of a tsunami, the quake's tremors were not only felt by residents in disaster zones but also by those in the areas of Jakarta, Bogor, and Bekasi, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said some 595 of 7,729 residents sustaining injuries suffer serious injuries.

Some 108 of the 595 seriously wounded victims are being treated at hospitals, the agency said adding that the death toll from the earthquake had climbed to 318 following the discovery of another eight bodies.

BNPB's Deputy III Major General Fajar Setyawan said in a recent statement that residents suffering minor injuries were allowed to return home.

The deadly earthquake also forced 73,693 residents to take refuge after their houses got collapsed or were damaged by the quake.

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Translator: Bagus AR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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