Five-year-old pulled from Indonesian earthquake debris after being trapped for days

Important points
  • A young boy has been rescued after surviving three days trapped in rubble from an earthquake.
  • Rescue operations continue as emergency services try to find survivors missing or trapped in a series of aftershocks.
  • The devastating earthquake claimed the lives of at least 271 people. Hundreds are injured.
Rescue services in the quake-hit Indonesian city of Cianjur were on the third day of searches when they found a conscious five-year-old boy trapped in the rubble.
In a video posted by a local fire department, little boy Azka appeared calm as he was escorted to safety by local services.

By this time he had been trapped without help for three days.

“Only two people survived (besides him), his grandfather and his younger brother,” said Azka’s cousin Salman Alfarisi, who sat next to the five-year-old and held his hand.
Mr Alfarisi added that Azka’s mother did not survive the earthquake.
“There were five people in the house, three survived and two were dead. They were found today,” he said.

In the video, the couple were in a makeshift medical tent where Azka was receiving medical attention.

Rescue operations remain active

Azka is among the survivors of a recent devastating earthquake that collapsed buildings and triggered landslides on Indonesia’s main island of West Java.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake killed at least 271 people, including many children. Forty remain missing and hundreds of people were injured.

A student in red walks past his collapsed Islamic boarding school caused by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Cianjur, Indonesia.

Indonesians are reeling after Monday’s earthquake, which struck at a shallow depth of 10km, followed by dozens of aftershocks. Source: EPA / ADI WEDA/EPA

The quake hit the most densely populated region of Indonesia at a shallow depth of just 10 kilometers.

The earthquake caused significant damage in Cianjur, a town 75 kilometers from the capital Jakarta. Aftershocks were felt for days after the first earthquake.
Officials also confirmed that at least one village in the province was buried under a landslide that followed the earthquake.

Around 6,000 rescuers were deployed to carry out ground rescue operations, some equipped with heavy equipment to clear landslides.

Collapsed buildings and debris lined the streets of Cianjur, and three people stood amidst the ruins.

Cianjur is located in a hilly area where many houses are built of a mixture of mud and concrete. Source: EPA / ADI WEDA/EPA

More than 170 aftershocks have been recorded since Monday, including one measuring 3.9 on Wednesday.

Due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide, Indonesia is frequently affected by seismic and volcanic activity.

The country also records frequent offshore earthquakes, with tremors reportedly stronger than those that hit West Java.

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