Rescue workers search for survivors after the earthquake in Indonesia killed 162 people
Rescue workers searched under the rubble on Tuesday after an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java that killed at least 162 people.
Rescue workers searched under the rubble on Tuesday after an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java that killed at least 162 people and injured several hundred.
The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake was near the city of Cianjur in the province of West Java, the most populous of this Southeast Asian archipelago.
The victims died in the collapse of buildings, but also in landslides triggered by the tremors that hit this very hilly region.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo promised compensation during a site visit and called on rescue workers to “mobilize their staff” to enable the victims to be evacuated.
“Today we are focused on recovering the victims buried by the landslides,” Rudy Saladin, a local military official, told AFP.
“It is possible that there are more victims,” he said.
Drone footage shows the extent of the damage caused by the quake as bulldozers attempt to clear a road after an entire mound of brown earth collapsed.
Rescuers are trying to get through the rubble and downed trees to reach areas where residents would be trapped, Dimas Reviansyah, a 34-year-old rescuer who works with dozens of people, told AFP.
“I haven’t slept at all since yesterday (Monday) but I have to keep going because there are victims who haven’t been found,” he said.
Among the victims are in particular students of an Islamic boarding school or even residents who died in their houses due to roof or wall collapses.
“The room collapsed and my legs were buried under the rubble. Everything happened so quickly,” 14-year-old Aprizal Mulyadi told AFP.
relief efforts delayed
The search is complicated by blocked roads and power outages in this rural area of wood and concrete houses.
More than 2,000 homes were damaged. Around 13,000 people have been taken to evacuation centers, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said. That official released a death toll of 162 Monday night.
In the cities, doctors treated patients both outdoors and in makeshift care units under tents after the earthquake that shook buildings as far away as the capital Jakarta.
In a snapshot taken by an AFP photographer, we see a father carrying his son’s body, wrapped in a white shroud, in his arms around his village near Cianjur.
Many other residents continued to search for their missing relatives amid the chaos
Rahmi Leonita’s father was on his motorcycle when the earthquake struck the city of Cianjur and she has been looking for him since the day before.
“His phone is off. I’m shocked. I’m very worried, but I still have hope” of finding him, the 38-year-old Indonesian said with tears in her eyes.
At an emergency shelter in Ciherang village, near the city of Cianjur, victims, including babies and young children, sit on sheets of corrugated iron.
Nunung, a 37-year-old mother who, like many Indonesians, has only one name, saved her son from disaster by pulling him from the rubble of her collapsed home.
“I had to free us by digging. There’s nothing left, I couldn’t save anything,” she told AFP, her face covered in dried blood.
The damage from the earthquake, which occurred after 1:20 p.m. local time on Monday, was exacerbated by more than 60 aftershocks of magnitude 1.8 to 4 in the city of Cianjur, which has around 175,000 inhabitants.
According to the national geology agency, the region’s terrain, friable Quaternary-era volcanic deposits, “could amplify seismic shaking” caused by an active fault.
Located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates meet, Indonesia is regularly confronted with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In January 2021, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake on the island of Celebes killed more than 100 people.
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