After two days of searching in the pouring rain, hopes of finding more survivors of the earthquake in Indonesia that killed 271 people were dwindling. But, from the rubble, rescuers extracted a five-year-old boyAzka Maulana Malik, I barely live.
If he survived, it was only because he was protected by a mattress. In a video of the rescue released by the local fire department, the boy appears conscious and calm as he was carried to safety. Muhammad Farid, the police officer who rescued the child, explained: «He was curled up. He didn’t cry. He didn’t even call 911. He was silent, almost unconscious. He was so peaceful, perhaps, because after three days and two nights under the ruins of his house, he had lost hope. When we found him, he was dehydrated ».
“He’s fine now, he’s not injured,” explained a relative of his, Salman Alfarisi, who was holding his hand in a makeshift tent in the hospital parking lot. “The doctor said that he is weak only because he is hungry. Now she wants to go home. He asked about his mother.’ Azka’s mother, sadly, passed away. But no one has told him yet.
Indonesia’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake on Monday caused extensive damage in the town of Cianjur, in the mountains about 75 km south of the capital, Jakarta, and 40 people are still missing. The searches focused on Cugenang, one of the most affected districts: it is believed that at least one village was buried by a landslide. The earthquake claimed so many lives also because it hit a densely populated area, at a depth of only 10 kilometers.
According to the head of the search and rescue agency, Henri Alfiandi, the chances of finding survivors among those trapped in the rubble for three days are increasingly slim. In addition the danger of aftershocks (there have been more than 170, including one of magnitude 3.9) triggering landslides on rain-soaked slopes is slowing down the work of rescue teams.
Source: Vanity Fair