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Trapped Indonesian quake survivors rescued after days in rubble

/ 02:59 PM October 02, 2018

JAKARTA — A woman in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi, has been rescued after being trapped for more than 48 hours in the ruins of her house, which crumbled when a 7.4-magnitude earthquake jolted the province last Friday.

The woman, identified as Nurul, was pulled out from the rubble on Sunday night. “At around 11:30 p.m. [on Sunday], Basarnas managed to evacuate a survivor identified as Nurul who stayed alive for three days under the remains of a house in the Balaroa housing complex,” the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) said in a tweet on Monday.

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The Balaroa housing complex is also one of the areas that was impacted by a natural phenomenon called liquefaction.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said during a press briefing on Sunday in Jakarta that soil liquefaction was a natural phenomenon that takes place when solid soil loses its strength and behaves like a liquid, as caused by stress, such as shaking during an earthquake.

“We observed that such phenomenon had dragged buildings away in several locations, such as in Sigi Biromaru district in Sigi regency and South Palu district,” Sutopo said.

In addition to Nurul, survivors have been rescued in several areas elsewhere, including one who was pinned under the remains of a restaurant.

The survivor, Alfrida, was rescued from under the rubble of what was known as Dunia Baru Palu Restaurant in the city of Palu, according to a tweet posted by the official Twitter account of the Basarnas public relations division.

“After being trapped for three days, Afrida has been successfully rescued from Dunia Baru Palu Restaurant. We’re all working hard together for the sake of our brothers and sisters. Let’s keep praying, keep being optimistic,” said the agency in the tweet that included a one-minute video that shows orange-clad rescue workers bringing a woman out of the rubble and onto a gurney.

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Meanwhile, another survivor, identified as Fitri, a resident of Lampung, managed to stay alive for days under the debris of what is left of the Roa Roa Hotel, also in Palu, since the massive quake hit the city and neighboring Donggala province on Friday.

“One survivor has been rescued by Basarnas. She has been identified as 25-year-old Fitri from Lampung,” said Palu-based Basarnas representative Fatmawati in a text message on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com.

She said that Fitri, who was staying at the hotel when the disaster hit, was found by the rescue team in a hotel room under a bed that had been crushed by a concrete structure.

“[Fitri] was found in the afternoon, but it was not until nighttime that the rescue team could successfully get her out since she was stuck,” Fatmawati said.

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TAGS: Asia, Earthquake, Indonesia, survivors
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