In Indonesia, an Earthquake, Landslides and Homes ‘Flat to the Earth’

Supartika was cooking lunch at home in a mountainous village famed for its rice, when without warning, she felt the earth beneath her convulse.

Her husband had offered to cook but the 47-year-old housewife had insisted on doing it herself, so he went out to scatter fertilizer on their rice fields instead. In an instant, she found herself in the darkness of her crumpled home, her arms precariously holding up the weight of a collapsed wall to keep it from crushing her head.

“I fainted for a while,” said Ms. Supartika, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name. “When I got my sense back, I found myself still under the debris.”

A day after the devastating earthquake struck, local officials said that the death toll had increased to 252 with hundreds of others injured. Rescue workers on Tuesday continued to pull the dead and injured from the rubble in Indonesia’s most populous province as more than 100 aftershocks roiled the region.

The full scope of the destruction from…

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This article was written by Dera Menra Sijabat and Victoria Kim and originally published on