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Indonesian rescuers dig for trapped quake victims, 64 dead

Last Updated: Friday, September 4, 2009 - 20:14

Pangalengan: Rescuers in Indonesia continued digging on Friday to reach dozens buried by a major earthquake that killed at least 64 people as anger mounted at the slow response from authorities.
Police and troops cleared boulders and mounds of earth in the village of Cikangkareng south of the capital Jakarta in a frantic bid to reach those trapped following Wednesday`s
7.0-magnitude quake, officials said.

"At least 64 people have been killed (throughout Java)... 33 are still trapped in Cikangkareng," disaster management agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono said.

The quake, which struck off the south coast of Java, triggered a landslide in the village 130 kilometres south of Jakarta that stripped hillsides bare and buried entire families.

"We`ve been using heavy machinery for the rescue effort," Kardono said, after earlier attempts were hampered by poor access, forcing rescuers to pick through the rubble with bare hands, hoes and improvised tools.

"They`re buried under boulders so the chance of any of the trapped people surviving is very slim," he said.

Damage from the quake, which caused a panicked rush from swaying buildings in Jakarta, was spread throughout Indonesia`s main island of Java. At least 30,000 homes had been damaged and 5,000 people displaced, officials said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 4, 2009 - 20:14

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