Indonesia earthquake: Boy pulled alive from rubble in West Java


Jakarta, Indonesia
CNN

A six-year-old boy was pulled alive from the rubble of a property on Wednesday after surviving under rubble for more than two days in Java province.

Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) said rescue workers rescued Azka Maulana Malik in Nagrak village in Cugenang subdistrict, 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 the Cianjur hospital, local media reported. Rescuers had previously retrieved the bodies of his parents, the agency added.

The 5.6-magnitude quake struck the Cianjur region of west Java around 1:21 p.m. local time on Monday at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), damaging buildings during the School collapsed classes were underway.

Indonesia's National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) said it rescued Azka in the village of Nagrak.

The death toll from the earthquake has risen to 271, BNPB chief Maj. Gen. Suharyanto told a news conference on Wednesday. More than a third of the confirmed dead are children, he said.

Some 2,043 people were injured and 61,800 displaced, he added. Forty people remain missing.

Suharyanto said 56,320 homes were damaged, more than a third of them severely. Other buildings damaged included 31 schools, 124 places of worship and three health facilities.

The agency has built 14 refugee shelters with facilities for displaced people, Suharyanto said. Victims are expected to leave their makeshift tents and move into these main shelters, he said.

According to Suharyanto, BNPB deployed more than 6,000 rescuers for search and rescue operations.

A villager inspects damaged houses in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.

The extent of the deaths and destruction caused by the quake became increasingly clear on Tuesday, following earlier discrepancies in the number of casualties reported by officials.

Photos showed buildings reduced to rubble, with brick and broken metal strewn on the streets.

“So many incidents occurred in several Islamic schools,” West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil told reporters Monday, warning that many of those killed were children.

Villagers salvage items from damaged houses after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Cianjur on November 22, 2022.

The strong shaking forced children to flee their classrooms, according to the charity Save the Children, which said more than 50 schools were affected.

Mia Saharosa, a teacher at one of the schools, said the earthquake was “a shock to all of us,” according to the organization.

“We all gathered in the field, children were scared and crying, worried about their families at home,” Saharosa said. “We hug, strengthen each other and keep praying.”

Municipal officials in Cianjur evacuate an injured colleague after the earthquake.

Herman Suherman, a government official in Cianjur, told the media that some residents were trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. News channel Metro TV appeared to show hundreds of victims being treated in a hospital parking lot.

According to Reuters, television footage showed residents huddled in front of buildings that were almost completely reduced to rubble.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the quake-hit areas on Tuesday and said the government will provide compensation of up to $3,200 each to owners of badly damaged homes.

Homes should be rebuilt as earthquake-proof buildings, he added.

One resident, known only as Muchlis, said he felt “huge shaking” and the walls and ceiling of his office were damaged.

“I was very shocked. I was worried there would be another quake,” he told Metro TV.

The Indonesian Meteorological Office BMKG warned of the risk of landslides, especially in heavy rain, as 25 aftershocks were recorded in the first two hours after the quake.

Workers inspect a school damaged by the earthquake in Cianjur, West Java.

A collapsed school building of Cianjur can be seen after the earthquake.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin offered his “deepest condolences” after the loss of life while speaking at the ASEAN multilateral meeting in Cambodia on Tuesday.

Indonesia lies on the “Ring of Fire,” a band around the Pacific Ocean that triggers frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. One of the most seismically active zones on earth, 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 quake off the island of Sumatra in northern Indonesia triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries and killed 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coast, more than half in Indonesia.

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