Indonesian earthquake death toll rises as search for survivors continuesas rescuers work through a second night to try to find people who got stuck. Officials say that 268 people have died, many of them children. Another 151 people are still missing, and more than 1,000 people have been hurt.
Power outages, damaged roads, and landslides made it hard to get to the victims. According to reports, hundreds of the injured were treated by local hospitals outside main buildings, in parking lots, and in open spaces.
Suharyanto, the head of the National Disaster Management Agency, or BNPB, said that people are still trying to figure out who the victims are.
Aprizal Mulyadi was at school when the earthquake hit. When "the room collapsed," he was stuck inside.
The 14-year-old said that his "legs were buried under the rubble," but his friend Zulfikar pulled him to safety. Zulfikar later died after getting himself stuck.
Officials are still working on identifying the victims, said Suharyanto, the chief of the National Disaster Management Agency, or BNPB.
Suharyanto said at a press conference,
We have identified at least 122 bodies … aside from that there are still victims who are missing and we are continuing our search.- Suharyanto, the chief of the National Disaster Management Agency, or BNPB
According to Suharyanto, some of the people who have been found were children.
President Joko Widodo went to the earthquake's epicenter in Cianjur on Tuesday. He said that the government would help victims and their families rebuild their homes by giving them money. He also said that new homes must be built to withstand earthquakes.
For the victims who are still trapped, I have instructed for their evacuation and rescue to be prioritized.- President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo
A man holding a helmet walking past a collapsed building after the earthquake
The head of Indonesia's weather, climate, and geophysical agency (BMKG), Dwikorita Karnawati, said that as of Tuesday afternoon, 145 aftershocks had been recorded. He also said that the number of aftershocks would go down over the next four days.
“This earthquake, based on research and analysis by BMKG, is an earthquake with a return period of about 20 years. What this means is that an earthquake would likely occur again within an estimated 20 years, so during the reconstruction period it is very crucial to ensure that the buildings will be earthquake-resistant.- Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of Indonesia's weather, climate, and geophysical agency (BMKG)
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that 22,000 homes had been damaged and that more than 58,000 people had taken shelter in several places in the area.
Monday, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit a mountainous area. It caused landslides that buried whole villages near the town of Cianjur in West Java.
A person from the National Search and Rescue Agency also said that many of the people who died were young.
"Most of the casualties are children because at 1pm, they were still at school," said Henri Alfiandi.
The earthquake hit at a shallow depth of 10 km (six miles). It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, which caused more damage when poorly built homes fell down.
In the village of Cibereum, a family was trying to find the body of their oldest son, a 28-year-old man who had been crushed when the other floors of his home fell on him.
Rescuers worked hard to sort through the debris.
"We have to dig through the concrete of the second floor that crushed the victim. But we have seen the body," a military official, Sergeant Payakun told the BBC.
Cucu, a 48-year-old resident, told the news agency Reuters that she was crushed under a child but was still able to live.
"Two of my kids survived, I dug them up ... Two others I brought here, and one is still missing," she said through tears.
"Many bodies are lying in the hospital grounds, it's very crowded," said her relative, Hesti. In one place, people holding signs made of cardboard asked for food and a place to stay.
The Indonesian archipelago is on the "Ring of Fire," which is an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin that causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to happen often.
Cianjur district is often hit by floods, landslides, droughts, and other natural disasters. It is thought to be one of the most disaster-prone places in Indonesia. People in other parts of Java, such as Bandung city and Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, felt Monday's quake. They left tall office buildings and said that they were shaking and that furniture was moving.
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off Sumatra island caused a tsunami that killed almost 230,000 people in more than a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia.