A seven-year-old Indonesian girl who was the subject of a day-long rescue operation after an earthquake killed 272 people in West Java has been found dead, rescue workers said on Friday. the AFP.
Rescuers found the body of Ashika Nur Fauziah, also known as Cika, under rubble in the worst-hit area of Cianjur city, the epicenter of the quake which triggered landslides, collapsed roofs, walls and buried victims in mounds of dirt on Monday.
“The body was immediately handed over to the family. The family accepted and she was then buried,” 28-year-old paramedic Jeksen Kolibu told AFP.
“The family was very hysterical. They were very sad. It was the mother who received the body.
Dozens of rescuers had spent most of Thursday using digging tools, hammers and their bare hands to clear debris from the delicate mission, which was suspended overnight until Friday morning.
Cika was found under three layers of concrete, Kolibu said.
The search had focused on her grandmother’s house, opposite the family home, where her mother believed she was playing when the earthquake struck.
“She was playing outside, I was cooking in the kitchen, suddenly the earthquake happened, so fast, just two seconds, my house collapsed,” her mother Imas Masfahitah, 34, told AFP on Thursday. .
“Whatever happens, I will try to accept it,” she added, crying as she clung to her daughter’s sandals.
Hopes for a happy outcome had been raised following the dramatic rescue of six-year-old boy Azka on Wednesday night who was described as a ‘miracle’ after surviving more than two days in the rubble without food or water.
“The mother had a lot of hope. Azka survived, unlike Cika. That’s what makes me sad,” Kolibu said.
Prior to Cika’s discovery, authorities said 39 people remained missing as rescue efforts continued to be hampered by driving rains and life-threatening aftershocks.
Read all the latest news here
- Rain, shocks slow Indonesia quake rescuers
- Indonesian rescuers focus on landslide as quake toll rises
- Ghaziabad: House collapses due to gas cylinder explosion, three dead including two children
- Earthquake strikes Indonesia’s West Java province
- Kenyan building collapse kills three