A six-year-old boy was pulled alive from the wreckage of a property on Wednesday after surviving for more than two days under the debris, giving hope to those awaiting news of loved ones after a powerful tremor of land hit a populated region of the Indonesian province of West Java. .
Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said rescuers rescued Azka Maulana Malik in Nagrak village, Cugenang sub-district, Cianjur Regency. Footage showed the moment he was found by a rescue team.
The boy was discovered next to his grandmother’s body, the agency said. Azka is currently being treated at Cianjur Hospital, local media reported. Rescuers had pulled out her parents’ bodies earlier, the agency added.
The magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck the Cianjur region in West Java around 1:21 p.m. local time Monday at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), causing the collapsing buildings during school. classes were in progress.
The death toll from the earthquake stands at 271, BNPB chief Major General Suharyanto told a press conference on Wednesday. More than a third of the confirmed dead are children, he said.
Some 2,043 people were injured and 61,800 were displaced, he added. Forty people are still missing.
Suharyanto said 56,320 houses were damaged, more than a third of them seriously. Other damaged buildings included 31 schools, 124 places of worship and three health facilities.
The agency has built 14 refugee shelters with facilities for the displaced, Suharyanto said. Victims should leave their temporary tents and go to these main shelters, he said.
According to Suharyanto, BNPB has deployed more than 6,000 rescuers for search and rescue operations.
The scale of death and destruction caused by the earthquake became increasingly clear on Tuesday, after earlier discrepancies in the number of victims reported by authorities.
Photos showed buildings reduced to rubble, with bricks and shattered pieces of metal strewn across the streets.
“So many incidents have happened in several Islamic schools,” West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil told reporters on Monday, as he warned that many of those killed were children.
The powerful tremors forced children to flee their classrooms, according to the aid organization Save the Children, which said more than 50 schools were affected.
Mia Saharosa, a teacher at one of the schools, said the earthquake “came as a shock to all of us”, according to the organization.
“We all gathered in the field, the children were terrified and crying, worried about their families back home,” Saharosa said. “We stick together, we grow stronger and we keep praying.”
Herman Suherman, a government official in Cianjur, told media that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. The Metro TV news channel showed what appeared to be hundreds of victims being treated in a hospital parking lot.
Television footage showed residents huddled in front of buildings almost completely reduced to rubble, according to Reuters.
Visiting quake-affected areas on Tuesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the government would provide compensation of up to about $3,200 each to owners of heavily damaged homes.
Homes should be rebuilt as earthquake-resistant buildings, he added.
A resident, named only Muchlis, said he felt “a huge tremor” and the walls and ceiling in his office were damaged.
“I was very shocked. I was worried there would be another earthquake,” he told Metro TV.
The Indonesian meteorological office, BMKG, warned of a risk of landslides, especially in the event of heavy rains, since 25 aftershocks were recorded in the first two hours after the earthquake.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin offered his “sincere condolences” over the loss of life during a speech at the ASEAN multilateral meeting in Cambodia on Tuesday.
Indonesia sits on the “Ring of Fire”, a band around the Pacific Ocean that triggers frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most active seismic zones on the planet, it stretches from Japan and Indonesia on one side of the Pacific to California and South America on the other.
In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the island of Sumatra in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the ocean coast Indian, more than half of them in Indonesia.