Indonesian authorities say the death toll from Monday’s earthquake on Java has leapt to 252 as more bodies have been discovered under collapsed buildings. The Cianjur regional disaster mitigation agency said Tuesday on its Instagram site that the number of dead has increased from 162 reported the night before. Another 31 people remain missing and hundreds were injured.
Cianjur, south of Jakarta, was hardest hit by the 5.6 magnitude temblor that hit Monday afternoon.
Blocked roads and damaged bridges prevented rescuers from bringing excavators and other heavy equipment to the rural area to help dig out survivors until Tuesday.
Excavators, trucks and other heavy equipment sent overnight reached the hardest-hit city of Cianjur, south of Jakarta. The city, in the country’s most densely populated province of West Java, was near the epicenter of magnitude 5.6 temblor Monday afternoon, which sent terrified residents fleeing into the streets, some covered in blood and debris.
One woman told The Associated Press when the earthquake hit her home in Cianjur, the building started “shaking like it was dancing.”
The woman, who gave her name only as Partinem, added: “I was crying and immediately grabbed my husband and children.
The house collapsed shortly after she escaped with her family.
Parti “If I didn’t pull them out we might have also been victims.”
In addition to those killed, authorities reported more than 300 people were seriously hurt and at least 600 more suffered minor injuries.
It was not immediately clear how many remained missing.
In the village of Cijedil, northwest of Cianjur, the earthquake triggered a landslide that blocked streets and buried several houses, and there were reports that 25 people were still buried, said Henri Alfiandi, the chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.
He said: “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. For us, all victims are a priority, our goal is to find them and save lives by getting them evacuated as soon as possible and get medical help.”
With hospitals already overwhelmed, patients lay on stretchers and cots in tents set up outside, with intravenous drips in their arms as they awaited further treatment.
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 to follow)