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Indonesia quake survivor mourns 11 loved ones as he rebuilds

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CIANJUR, Indonesia — Enjot was tending his cows in the hills near his home when the earth shook.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake killed more than 265 people, including 11 members of Enjot’s family. His sister-in-law and two children were injured, among hundreds injured in Monday’s quake.

Now Enjot is visiting his hospitalized loved ones and trying to rebuild his shattered life, one of thousands of Indonesians reeling from the disaster.

“My life suddenly changed,” said Enjot, 45, who has a name like many Indonesians. “I have to live with that from now on.”

The earthquake’s epicenter was just south of Enjot’s hometown of Cianjur. After receiving a call from his daughter, Enjot hopped aboard his motorbike and raced home, arriving within minutes to see his neighborhood razed to the ground.

“Men, women and children wept as the people who were trapped in the collapsed houses cried out for help,” he recalls. “I saw terrible devastation and heartbreaking scenes.”

Her sister-in-law and her children, who came from a neighboring village, were among the lucky ones. Others heard their screams in the rubble and pulled them out.

The woman and children suffered serious head injuries and broken bones and are being treated in a hospital overwhelmed by the number of victims.

According to the government’s National Disaster Agency, as of Tuesday night more than 265 people were killed, with hundreds missing and injured, almost all in and around Cianjur. The balance sheet was to increase.

Like many other villagers, Enjot desperately dug through the debris for survivors and managed to save several. But blocked roads and damaged bridges prevented authorities from bringing in the heavy machinery needed to remove large concrete slabs and other rubble.

Throughout the day, relatives wept as they watched rescuers pull mud-covered bodies out of destroyed buildings, including one of Enjot’s nephews.

Not far from Enjot’s house, an aftershock triggered a landslide that crashed into the house of one of his relatives and buried seven people inside. Four were rescued, but two nephews and a cousin were killed, he said.

In a nearby village, his sister, a cousin and six other relatives were killed when their houses collapsed, Enjot said.

Faced with such a sudden loss of life and no place to live, Enjot wonders what will come next.

It is with thousands of people living in tents or other temporary shelters set up by volunteers, barely enough to protect them from the downpours of the monsoon.

“The situation is worse than it looks on TV,” Enjot said. “We are hungry, thirsty and cold without tents and adequate clothing, without access to clean water.”

“All that’s left, he says, are the clothes I’ve been wearing since yesterday. »

Karmini brought from Jakarta

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