Rescue teams managed to get a six-year-old boy out alive, trapped for two days in the rubble left by a strong earthquake in Indonesia which killed 271 people.
The “miraculous” rescue was captured on camera on Wednesday night and revived hopes of finding survivors among the ruins caused by the tremor that devastated the city of cianjurin West Java.
LOOK: Indonesians are still in shock after the earthquake: “I couldn’t see anything”
“Once we found out that Azka was alive, everyone burst into tears, including me.”Jeksen, a 28-year-old local volunteer, told AFP on Thursday.
“It was very emotional, it was experienced as a miracle.”
Video of the rescue, released by the Bogor district administration in West Java, shows rescuers pulling Azka out of a destroyed house in Cugenang district, the hardest hit in the city.
A 6-year-old boy was pulled out alive after surviving more than two days under the debris left by a powerful earthquake in Indonesia https://t.co/M7dKniOs7K pic.twitter.com/0m63OtIeWM
—CNN (@CNN) November 23, 2022
The man who rescued him from a hole in the rubble hugged the boy with both arms, while another rescuer in an orange protective suit ran after him holding the boy’s hand.
Azka is then seen calmly having a drink in the arms of a soldier, with an emergency worker stroking his hair.
His mother’s body had been found dead hours earlier, a volunteer told AFP on Thursday.
In addition, along with the little one, they found the body of his grandmother, Jeksen said.
The boy was saved thanks to a wall that supported another collapsed wall and prevented it from falling on him, local media reported.
“He was found on the left side of the house, on the bed. He was protected by a pillow and there was a 10-centimeter gap between him and the concrete wall,” Jeksen explained.
“It was such a narrow space, it was dark, it was hot and there was not enough space to breathe,” he added.
“In all these years since I became a volunteer, I have never seen anything like it. How can you not cry?”
Many of the quake victims were children trapped in their schools or in their homes, authorities said.
But time is running out to find more people alive and rescue efforts are hampered by heavy rain and the threat of deadly aftershocks.
“Today we have deployed 6,000 people for the search and rescue operation. It’s raining but we’re still looking,” said the head of the national disaster management agency, Suharyanto, who goes by just one name like many Indonesians.
“Please pray for us so that the 40 missing people can be found,” he said.