The death toll from the earthquake that hit Indonesia on Monday is still growing. At least 268 people lost their lives, 151 are missing.
The toll of an earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java increased on Tuesday to 268 dead and several hundred injured, as relief efforts increased efforts to find survivors in the rubble. The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that hit West Java province, the most populous province in this Southeast Asian archipelago, on Monday was located near the city of Cianjur.
The earthquake killed 268 people, according to a latest report announced by Suharyanto, the head of the national disaster management agency during a press conference. ” Our priority is the search and evacuation of victims “Said the official, reporting 151 missing. This is the deadliest earthquake toll in Indonesia since 2018.
The victims perished in the collapse of buildings, but also in landslides triggered by the tremors that hit this very hilly region. Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised compensation during a visit to the scene, asking rescue teams ” to mobilize their staff to allow first and foremost the evacuation of the victims.
Drone footage shows the extent of the damage caused by the quake: bulldozers attempt to clear a road after an entire swath of brown earth hill collapsed.
Rescuers are trying to make their way through the debris and fallen trees to reach areas where residents would be trapped, Dimas Reviansyah, a 34-year-old rescuer who works alongside dozens of people, told AFP. others. ” I haven’t slept at all since yesterday (Monday) but I have to continue because there are victims who have not been found “, he says.
Among the victims are in particular students of an Islamic boarding school or even inhabitants killed in their homes by the fall of the roof or the walls. ” The room collapsed and my legs were buried in the rubble. It all happened so fast “, told AFP Aprizal Mulyadi, 14, extirpated and brought to safety by one of his friends who subsequently lost his life.
Relief operations delayed
Searches are made more difficult by blocked roads and power cuts in this rural area where houses are made of both wood and concrete.
Over 2,000 homes were damaged. Some 13,000 people have been taken to evacuation centers, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said. This official announced Monday evening a death toll of 162.
In the cities, doctors were treating patients outdoors as well as in makeshift care units under tents after the earthquake, which shook buildings as far as the capital, Jakarta.
In a snapshot by an AFP photographer, we see a father carrying the body of his son wrapped in a white shroud in his arms through his village located near Cianjur. Many other residents continued to search for missing relatives amid the chaos.
” There is nothing left ”
Rahmi Leonita’s father was on his motorcycle when the earthquake shook the city of Cianjur and she has been looking for him since the day before. ” His phone is off. I am in shock. I’m very worried but I still have hope to find him, said the 38-year-old Indonesian with tears streaming down her cheeks.
In a shelter in the village of Ciherang near the town of Cianjur, victims, including babies and young children, are sitting on corrugated iron sheets. Nunung, a 37-year-old mother who like many Indonesians has only one name, saved her son from disaster by pulling him from the wreckage of their collapsed house. ” I had to free ourselves by digging. There’s nothing left, I couldn’t save anything “, she told AFP, her face covered in dried blood.
Damage from the earthquake, which struck after 1:20 p.m. local time on Monday, was compounded by more than 60 aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 1.8 to 4 in the town of Cianjur which is home to some 175,000 people.
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