Quake Survivors Search Rubble for Loved Ones

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PADANG, Indonesia -- Nearly 90,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in last week's earthquakes in Indonesia. Entire villages were wiped out by landslides.

With thousands homeless and needing food, Operation Blessing rushed to the scene to help the survivors -- many of them are still hoping to find their missing loved ones.

Yuhelmi believes her 13-year-old daughter is still buried under the rubble of her school.

Days after a powerful earthquake shook this place, Yuhelmi and her relatives are hoping against all hope that rescue teams will find Yosa.

"My heafrt is so broken. She's my only daughter from all of my children," Yuhelmi said.

"My feeling is almost undescribable. Or maybe, like these rubbles in front of me, is what my heart is like now. I will stay here, I won't go home until my daughter is found," she said.

Yuhelmi is not alone. Across this area, families are still searching for loved ones amidst the death and destruction.

More than one thousand people have died but thousands more are thought to be missing after a massive 7.6 magnitude quake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a week ago Wednesday.

This is what remains of a three-star hotel in Padang. The hotel was full of guests attending several different seminars the day the quake struck.

Septinang was one of lucky ones to make it out.

"Because we never expected that a disaster would happen, now I am grieving over the loss of my friends," Septinang said. "I am so sad. I felt the bonding already happened among all of us. On the second day of the seminar, the atmosphere was full of happiness. We felt the closeness," he said.

The city of Padang is slowly coming back to life. But the situation is more dire in many of the remote villages.

The epicenter of this devastating quake lies 60 kilometers north of Padang, in Pariaman, a district where hundreds of villages lie in ruins. Even now, five days after the quake, search and rescue workers continue to find bodies. Landslides have cut off roads, buried homes, and hundreds of families now, live or sleep outdoors, with no place to go.

And it is here that Operation Blessing has come. Thousands of food packages, to help families make it to the next week are pouring in, as well as blankets, tents, and emergency medical treatment.

Labai Siri, an Islamic teacher, lost six members of his family. Three of them had been found. He took us to a small mosque where their lifeless bodies were waiting for proper burial.

Because he no longer has many relatives who are able to take care of him, Operation Blessing gave him medical treatment, and provided him with food and shelter.

The survivors of the quake try to leave the trauma behind and move on with their lives. Operation Blessing is here to help make that just a little bit easier.

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CBN News
Mark McClendon

Mark McClendon

The 700 Club

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