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Indonesian rescuers deal with landslide as quake toll rises



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CIANJUR, Indonesia — On the fourth day of an more and more pressing search, Indonesian rescuers narrowed their work Thursday to a landslide the place dozens are believed trapped after an earthquake killed at the very least 271 individuals, greater than a 3rd of them youngsters.

Most of the greater than 1,000 rescue personnel are utilizing backhoe loaders, sniffer canines and life detectors — in addition to jackhammers and naked arms — to hurry up the search within the worst-hit space of Cijendil village, the place individuals are believed nonetheless caught after a landslide set off by Monday’s quake left tons of mud, rocks and bushes in Cugenang sub-district.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Cianjur on Thursday and mentioned that their focus will probably be on one location the place 39 are nonetheless lacking.

“The search course of will probably be our precedence for now. Focus there. And this afternoon we are going to consider this one level for search,” Widodo mentioned.

“Steep circumstances and it’s nonetheless raining and there are nonetheless aftershocks. The soil is unstable, so you must watch out,” he mentioned. “However the Minister of Public Works has ordered his workers, who’re used to doing reduce and fill. I believe this may be carried out quickly.”

He added there are additionally obstacles in distributing provides to the injured and displaced who’re unfold out and laborious to achieve.

“We hope all victims might be discovered quickly,” Henri Alfiandi, chief of the Nationwide Search and Rescue Company, mentioned Thursday.

On Wednesday, searchers rescued a 6-year-old boy who was trapped for 2 days beneath the rubble of his collapsed home.

Greater than 2,000 individuals had been injured within the quake that displaced at the very least 61,000 individuals to evacuation facilities and different shelters after at the very least 56,000 homes had been broken. The Nationwide Catastrophe Mitigation Company has mentioned 171 public amenities had been destroyed, together with 31 faculties.

Suharyanto, chief of the Nationwide Catastrophe Mitigation Company, mentioned 100 of the 271 confirmed deaths had been youngsters.

Rescue efforts had been quickly suspended Wednesday as heavy monsoon rains fell.

The 5.6 magnitude of Monday’s earthquake wouldn’t sometimes be anticipated to trigger severe injury. However the quake was shallow and shook a densely populated space that lacks earthquake-resistant infrastructure. Weak aftershocks continued till Thursday morning.

Greater than 2.5 million individuals dwell in mountainous Cianjur district, together with about 175,000 in its major city, which has the identical title.

President Joko Widodo visited Cianjur on Tuesday and pledged to rebuild its infrastructure and supply help of as much as 50 million rupiah ($3,180) to every resident whose home was broken.

Indonesia is incessantly struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault strains within the Pacific Basin often known as the “Ring of Fireplace.”

Related Press author Edna Tarigan in Jakarta contributed to this report.

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