Hundreds of Indonesians prayed outside in rice paddies and in the streets after an earthquake devastated their town in West Java and left nearly 300 people dead.
Key points: Hundreds of aftershocks rocked survivors sheltering in tents. Rescue efforts continue, but hopes of finding more survivors are fading, and the Disaster Mitigation Agency says about 40 people are still missing.
Muslim cleric Muhammad led the congregation in prayer on an open-air volleyball court just 200 meters from a mosque where walls were left cracked and windows shattered by the shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquake that hit the city of Cianjur, about 75 km south of the capital, Jakarta. . earlier this week.
“After the disaster, we are still afraid,” said the 52-year-old.
“So we had to move here on this volleyball court, not in a mosque. I asked the congregation to stay alert because disaster might strike again.”
Hundreds of aftershocks rocked the mountainous region, where grieving and traumatized residents are sheltering in tents awaiting supplies of food, water and medicine that have been slowed by torrential rains and landslides.
Food seller Asip Hidayat, who like many others lost his home in the quake, said he was grateful to be able to perform prayers, even if he was not in a mosque.
He said, “Prayer still needs to be continued, even though we are in a shelter, and prayer is an obligation.”
The majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim.
Hopes of finding survivors are fading About 40 people are still missing but hopes of being rescued are fading (AP: Tatan Siouflana)
On Friday, rescue teams continued their efforts to clear mud and debris, and recover victims.
The disaster mitigation agency said about 40 people were still missing, but hopes of finding them alive were slim.
Monday’s earthquake killed at least 272 people and left thousands sheltering in tents with a shortage of medical supplies and aid.
Authorities focused on providing basics for those displaced by the disaster (AP: Tatan Siouflana)
Many have not received aid, Suharyanto, the head of the disaster mitigation agency, said Thursday, and nearly 5,000 volunteers have been deployed to help distribute water, immediate food, tents and diapers.
He said later on Thursday that aid distribution was improving as roadblocks were eased.
President Joko Widodo visited the quake site for the second time on Thursday, urging the continuation of aid distribution and rescue efforts as soon as possible.
“The conditions are very steep,” he said of the rugged terrain, adding that tents and water were in short supply.
“It’s still raining and there are still aftershocks. The ground is shaking, so be careful.”
About 30 people are believed to have been buried under a landslide in the village of Cijedil (AP: Tatan Syuflana)
The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said that the aftershocks are expected to stabilize during the next week, but warned of landslides and floods due to the rainy season.
With dozens still missing, rescuers used earth diggers and other heavy equipment to remove mud and debris in search of victims.
Some areas cut off by landslides could only be reached by helicopter.
Joshua Banjarnahor of the National Search and Rescue Agency told reporters that the search effort had focused on the village of Segedel, where about 30 people are believed to have been buried under a landslide.
Indonesia is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, regularly recording strong earthquakes offshore where fault lines occur.
Monday’s quake was particularly deadly because it struck a densely populated area only 10 kilometers deep.
Officials said poor construction standards also caused buildings to collapse, resulting in many deaths.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume. Duration: 1 minute 13 seconds and 1 minute 13 seconds Inside the tents holding the survivors of the Indonesia earthquake.
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