Indonesian rescuers search through rubble of quake; 268 dead

Indonesia Earthquake Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, walks with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dudung Abdurachman during their visit to a village affected by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake killed hundreds of people and left hundreds more injured and missing on Indonesia's main island.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers carry the body of an earthquake victim recovered from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers recover the body of an earthquake victim from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Family members prepare the body of a young earthquake victim for burial in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers cut through cement to recover the body of an earthquake victim from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers remove the wreckages of vehicles damaged in an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Earthquake survivors rest under a makeshift tent in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. An earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds. Residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris.
APTOPIX Indonesia Earthquake A man collects clothings from his damaged house following an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Earthquake survivors rest on hospital beds at a makeshift hospital in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. An earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds. Residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Residents inspect houses damaged by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man walks past a house ruined by an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing more than 50 and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Earthquake survivors receive medical treatment at a makeshift hospital in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing more than 50 and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake A woman injured in an earthquake lies inside an ambulance upon arrival at a hospital in Cianjur, Indonesia late Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by the earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake Survivors displaced by an earthquake rest under a makeshift tent in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. An earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds. Residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Residents react as they inspect houses damaged by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake An earthquake survivor lies on a gurney at a makeshift hospital in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing at least 56 and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Injured survivors are being treated under a makeshift tent at a hospital in Cianjur, Indonesia late Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by the earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake A man collects belongings from a house damaged by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A young earthquake survivor receives medical treatment at a makeshift hospital in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. An earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing at least 162 people and injuring hundreds. Residents fled into the street, some covered in blood and debris.
Indonesia Earthquake A woman weeps near the body of his son who was killed in Monday's earthquake before burial in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A woman walks past a house damaged by an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing at least 56 and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers inspect the damage caused by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake Men prepare the body of a young earthquake victim for burial in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man walks past a house damaged by an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake People inspect the ruins of their houses badly damaged in Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Residents examine a house flattened by earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake A man reacts as he inspects the damage caused by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers search for survivors at the ruins of houses damaged by an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. The strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia's densely populated main island of Java on Monday, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds as people rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and white debris.
Indonesia Earthquake A woman walks past the ruins of buildings flattened by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man carries belongings salvaged from the ruins of his earthquake-damaged house in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man carries his son past ruins of houses damaged in Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake People walk past the ruins of houses damaged in Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man makes his way past ruins of earthquake-damaged houses in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A woman reacts as she inspects her house that was badly damaged during an earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake A man inspects damaged houses at a neighborhood affected by Monday's earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Earthquake survivors collect usable items from the ruins of their house in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers carry the body of a victim recovered from under the rubble at a village affected by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The earthquake has toppled buildings on Indonesia's densely populated main island, killing a number of people and injuring hundreds.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers remove the body of a victim recovered from under the rubble at a village affected by an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers use equipment to break through cement as they try to recover the body of an earthquake victim from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers carry the body of an earthquake victim recovered from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
Indonesia Earthquake Rescuers use a saw as they try to recover the body of an earthquake victim from under the rubble of a collapsed building in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia,Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Rescuers on Tuesday struggled to find more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by an earthquake that killed a number of people and injured hundreds on Indonesia's main island of Java.
(1/41)

CIANJUR, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian rescuers used jackhammers, circular saws and sometimes their bare hands Tuesday to shift the rubble of flattened buildings as they searched for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed at least 268 people.

With many missing, some remote areas still unreachable and more than 1,000 people injured in the 5.6 magnitude quake, the death toll was likely to rise. Hospitals near the epicenter on the densely populated island of Java were already overwhelmed, and patients hooked up to IV drips lay on stretchers and cots in tents set up outside, awaiting further treatment.

Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes, many much stronger than Monday’s whose magnitude would typically be expected to cause light damage. But experts said the shallowness of the quake and inadequate infrastructure contributed to the severe damage, including caved-in roofs and large piles of bricks, concrete, and corrugated metal.

The quake was centered on the rural, mountainous Cianjur district, where one woman said her home started “shaking like it was dancing.”

“I was crying and immediately grabbed my husband and children,” said Partinem, who like many Indonesians only goes by only one name. The house collapsed shortly after she escaped with her family.

“If I didn’t pull them out, we might have also been victims,” she said, gazing over the pile of broken concrete and timber.

More than 2.5 million people live in Cianjur district, including about 175,000 in the main town of the same name.

The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and also caused panic in the capital of Jakarta, about a three hour-drive away, where high-rises swayed and some people evacuated.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency head Suharyanto, who uses one name, told reporters that 1,083 people were injured and at least 151 missing. But not all of the dead have been identified, so it’s possible some the bodies pulled from the rubble are of people on the missing list.

Rescue operations were focused on about a dozen locations in Cianjur, where people are still believed trapped, said Endra Atmawidjaja, the public works and housing spokesperson.

“We are racing against time to rescue people,” Atmawidjaja said.

Initial rescue attempts were hampered by damaged roads and bridges and power outages, and a lack of equipment to help move the heavy rubble. By Tuesday, power supplies and phone communications had begun to improve, and Atmawidjaja said that seven excavators and 10 large trucks had been deployed from neighboring areas to clear roads.

In the village of Cijedil, the quake triggered a landslide that blocked streets and buried several houses, said Henri Alfiandi, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

“We are maximizing operations at several points where it is suspected that there are still casualties. Our team is also trying to reach remote areas,” he said.

Many of the dead were public school students who had finished their classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at Islamic schools when the buildings collapsed, West Java Gov. Ridwan Kamil said.

More than 13,000 people whose homes were heavily damaged were taken to evacuation centers, Kamil said, though thousands spent the night in the open fearing aftershocks.

Cargo trucks carrying food, tents, blankets and other supplies from the capital, Jakarta arrived early Tuesday in temporary shelters.

Outside the Cianjur Regional Hospital, hundreds waited for treatment.

“I was working inside my office building. The building was not damaged, but as the quake shook very strongly, many things fell. My leg was hit by heavy stuff,” said Dwi Sarmadi, who works for an Islamic educational foundation in a neighboring district.

He was waiting near a tent outside the hospital after some overwhelmed clinics were unable to see him. Many people were arriving in worse shape. “I really hope they can handle me soon,” he said.

Hasan, a construction worker who uses one name, was also taken to the hospital.

“I fainted. It was very strong,” Hasan recalled. “I saw my friends running to escape from the building. But it was too late to get out, and I was hit by the wall.”

President Joko Widodo visited Cianjur on Tuesday and pledged to rebuild infrastructure, including the main bridge connecting Cianjur to other cities, and to provide government assistance up to 50 million rupiah ($3,180) to each resident whose house was damaged.

“On behalf of myself and on behalf of the government, I would like to express my deep condolences to the victims and their families in this Cianjur earthquake,” he said after visiting survivors in shelters on a soccer field.

The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin known as the “Ring of Fire.”

In February, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. In January 2021, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake killed more than 100 people and injured nearly 6,500 in West Sulawesi province.

A powerful Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004 killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.

___

Tarigan reported from Jakarta. Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

Asia News | Latest News | World News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up