Dozens of locals gathered at the site of a landslide in Cianjur district in the West Java province of the Indonesian island of Java on Tuesday morning, staring frantically at a bulldozer removing dirt it had buried. a boarding school and almost 40 houses.
The bulldozer operator was working frantically to make way for rescue teams and volunteers to search for the residents who were reportedly trapped below.
The landslide was triggered by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the Cianjur region on Monday afternoon. The powerful quake was felt as far away as Jakarta, located about 150 kilometers from Cianjur.
Among those at the site of the landslide was Tahib, who had spent seven hours traveling from Tangerang, a satellite city of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, to reach Cianjur to search for her 40-year-old sister who was trapped under the waters. she the collapse of her, along with her husband and two children of 25 and 20 years.
“I pray that the rescue team can find them soon,” Tahib said, panicked.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the death toll had reached 268, with another 151 still missing, according to the latest data provided by the head of the national disaster management agency, Suharyanto, at a press conference.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said most of the victims were children studying in school buildings buried by the landslide triggered by the quake.
The quake also damaged 22,198 houses and five health centers, including a regional hospital, and forced more than 58,000 survivors to live in refugee tents provided by the government and volunteers.
One of the survivors, Tatang, a 60-year-old English teacher at a vocational school in the region, said he was meeting with 21 other teachers on the second floor of the school when the quake struck.
A traumatized Tatang said he heard ambulances every 10 minutes and was terrified.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Cianjur on Tuesday afternoon to check on the post-disaster management process, including making sure that roads covered by the landslide could be cleared to speed up the distribution of aid to survivors. .
Citing the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) assessment that such an earthquake could occur once every 20 years, Widodo has told the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing to rebuild the houses, buildings and other facilities damaged according to the earthquake. -Resilient standards.
The quake struck at 1:21 p.m. local time (0621 GMT) on Monday and its epicenter was located 10 kilometers southwest of Cianjur district in West Java province.
The tremor occurred at a depth of 10 km, the BMKG said. ■
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