Indonesia earthquake: Rescuers search for survivors trapped in rubble | Indonesia
Indonesian rescue workers were rushing to reach people still trapped in the rubble a day after an earthquake hit the main island of Java, killing at least 162 people, including many children, and injuring hundreds. others.
Monday afternoon’s earthquake, centered in the Cianjur region of West Java province, struck at a depth of 10 km, triggering landslides and damaging buildings, including thousands of homes.
Ridwan Kamil, the governor of West Java, said 162 people had been killed.
“The majority of those who died were children,” he said, adding that many were students taking extra classes. “So many incidents have happened in several Islamic schools.”
The authorities operated “on the assumption that the number of injured and [dead] will increase over time,” he said.
Provisional data released by authorities and cited by Save the Children indicates that there were around 51 educational sites affected, including 30 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, one high school, five vocational schools and one specialist school.
In a local hospital, overwhelmed by the number of patients, the injured were lying on the ground on mattresses and blankets, or in makeshift tents. On Monday evening, victims were treated in the dark, by torchlight, due to widespread power cuts.
“Everything collapsed under me and I was crushed under this child,” Cucu, a 48-year-old resident, told Reuters from the crowded hospital parking lot.
“Two of my children survived, I dug them up… Two more I brought here, and one is still missing,” she said in tears.
Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, said at least 25 people were still buried under rubble in Cianjur as darkness fell on Monday. Efforts to reach victims were complicated by power outages, damaged roads and more than 80 aftershocks.
As of Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers had been deployed to assist in the rescue efforts, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told the Antara state news agency.
“The main task today for personnel is to focus on the evacuation of casualties,” he said.
Authorities were working on Tuesday to reach the Cugenang area, which had been blocked by a landslide.
The quake damaged at least 2,200 homes and displaced more than 5,000 people, the national disaster agency (BNPB) said. He said he confirmed the deaths of 62 people, but did not verify an additional 100 victims.
Mus Mustopa, who lives in Padaluyu, a village in Cianjur, told Indonesian television Kompas that he helped a family recover the body of an 80-year-old woman who died in the earthquake.
It happened all of a sudden, he said. “I was not prepared and I saw houses reduced to rubble… About fifty houses are damaged, ten of which are badly damaged.
Several landslides have been reported across Cianjur.
Ima Mafazah, an Indonesian Red Cross volunteer, said the tremors continued late into Monday evening.
“So far, the earthquake is still happening, but not as big as before. A minute ago, it happened again. Many people don’t want to stay at home,” she said. said, adding that people were traumatized, scared and sleeping outside.
Houses had been damaged in a large area and access was difficult due to cracked roads, Mafazah said. Nurses had been sent by the Indonesian Red Cross on motorbikes to reach the injured in four of the worst affected areas, about an hour from the main town, which were otherwise inaccessible.
The US Geological Surveys Pager system estimated that up to 242,000 people were exposed to “very strong shaking” and up to 978,000 people to “strong shaking”. The quake was felt even 60 miles (100 km) away in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, about 60 miles (100 km) away, where high-rise buildings swayed.
Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, told Agence France-Presse that panicked workers rushed to the exits of their building in Jakarta when the earthquake hit. “I was working when the ground beneath me was shaking. I could clearly feel the tremor,” she said.
Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the most seismically and volcanically active area in the world.
In February, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 others in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, an earthquake of similar magnitude killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.
A powerful earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed nearly 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report