News World Indonesia earthquake: Man urges government to help as he searches for his mother in the rubble
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Indonesia earthquake: Man urges government to help as he searches for his mother in the rubble

Lalu Fauzan scours the towering pile of rubble that used to be his village mosque for survivors. Photo: ABC News
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Lalu Fauzan paces up and down the towering pile of rubble that used to be his village mosque, listening for voices.

When the two-storey building came crashing down, his mother was inside.

“A day after the earthquake, a search-and-rescue team was here and they said someone inside was calling for help,” he told the ABC.

“[It was] the voice of a woman calling for help. That could probably be my mum.”

Today, there is silence.

About a dozen pairs of rubber sandals lie unclaimed at the base of the broken stone steps.

“Maybe she’s alive in there. I’d be so grateful if she is,” he said.

Lombok resident Lalu Fauzon is calling on the Indonesian Government to help lift the rubble. Photo: ABC News

Up to 100 people were inside the West Pemenang mosque for a Quran recital when the earthquake struck.

As the building crumbled around them, most managed to escape. But not everyone could get out.

Today, a few locals on motorbikes stop and take photos on their cameras, but there’s no sign of any recovery operation.

“I’m so disappointed that the government hasn’t come here to clear up the mosque rubble. We’re the families and we are very worried because perhaps people are still alive in there,” he said.

“Please, government come here and lift up all the rubble.”

Rescuers hope for a miracle

A few kilometres down the road, in the village of Lading-Lading, another mosque lies in ruins, pancaked by the force of the quake.

No one can say with any certainty how many people were inside, but locals say it could have been as many as 50.

Dozens of rescuers are now trying to remove tonnes of concrete, hoping for a miracle.

When the ABC arrived at the mosque this morning there was no search-and-rescue effort, despite dozens of people thought to be under the rubble.

An excavator, the only one seen in the entire area, lay idle. Villagers pay little attention to the mosque. They are more concerned with preparing food for their children and themselves.

By late morning, the rescue operation has resumed. Search teams are hoping for another miracle, after a man was found alive under the mosque yesterday.

In a field nearby, local mother Supriyono is preparing a meal of instant noodles after spending a second night under makeshift shelters made of plastic sheets.

“You see these noodles and water? These come from our neighbours,” she said.

She’s also pleading for help from the Indonesian government.

“I want central government and local government and related institutions to come to the field and see how the conditions are like here,” she said.

“We hope that the government would help.”

Hungry and impatient

In the hills, thousands of people are still camping out under makeshift shelters. Photo: ABC News

In the hills, thousands of people are still camping out under makeshift shelters.

Some are nursing minor injuries, holding children and waiting for help.

They’ve received some food from authorities, but it’s hot and they’re running out of water.

On the main road through the Tanjuh province, Indonesian government officials were handing out food.

Hungry and impatient, some of the people start squabbling.

Eventually the officials regain control and the locals form an orderly queue.

There’s no shortage of police-escorted convoys, as government ministers and officials tour the damage.

For much of the day, there is more evidence of touring politicians than any meaningful help.

ABC