WorldIndonesia: Help to find survivors of the earthquake that...

Indonesia: Help to find survivors of the earthquake that killed 162 people

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Rescuers scramble to find survivors among rubble on Tuesday after an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java left at least 162 people dead and hundreds more injured. The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake was located near the city of Chanjur in the province of West Java, the most densely populated part of this Southeast Asian archipelago.

The victims died as a result of the collapse of buildings, as well as landslides caused by aftershocks that hit this very hilly region.

Scary heavier losses

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“Today we are concentrating on retrieving victims buried under landslides,” local military official Rudy Saladin told AFP. “It is possible that there are other victims,” he said.

Rescuers are trying to bulldoze and chainsaw their way through debris and fallen trees to reach areas where they think residents are trapped, city rescuer Dimas Reviansah, 34, who works alongside dozens of others, told AFP. “I haven’t slept at all since yesterday (Monday), but I must continue because there are victims who have not been found,” he said.

“It all happened so fast”

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On Monday evening, the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) estimated that at least 25 people were still under the rubble. Among the victims, in particular, students of an Islamic boarding school or even residents who died in their homes, dying as a result of falling roofs or walls of their homes.

“The room collapsed and my feet sank into the rubble. It all happened so quickly,” Aprizal Mulyadi, 14, told AFP, who was pulled out and taken to safety by one of his friends, Zulfikar, who later died.

Road closures and power outages

The search is made more difficult by road closures and power outages in this hilly countryside, where houses are built from both wood and concrete.

Over 2,000 houses damaged. About 13,000 people have been taken to evacuation centers, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said, citing the agency responsible for emergency management. In the cities, doctors treated patients outdoors as well as in makeshift units under tents after an earthquake that shook buildings all the way to the capital Jakarta.

The relatives were waiting for permission from the authorities to remove the bodies stored in the morgues in order to bury their loved ones in accordance with their Islamic faith. In the picture, taken by an AFP photographer, we see a father carrying the body of his son, wrapped in a white shroud, through his village near Chianjur. Many other residents continued to search for their missing relatives amidst the chaos.

Rahmi Leonita’s father was on a motorcycle when the earthquake shook the city of Chanjur, and she has been looking for him since yesterday. “His phone is off. I’m shocked. I am very worried, but I still have hope of finding him,” said the 38-year-old Indonesian with tears in her eyes.

Indonesian President expected

Damage from the earthquake, which hit after 13:20 local time on Monday, was exacerbated by more than 60 tremors ranging from magnitude 1.8 to magnitude 4 in the city of Chanjur, home to about 175,000 people. The President of Indonesia was supposed to visit the site of the earthquake on Tuesday, according to Metro TV.

Situated in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates converge, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Source: Le Parisien

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