Highlights

  • 7-yr-old girl found dead days after Indonesia earthquake
  • Girl's body found after 24-hour rescue operation
  • Cika was found under 3 layers of concrete

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Indonesia earthquake: 7-yr-old girl found dead after day-long rescue efforts

Dozens of rescuers had spent most of Thursday using digging tools, hammers and their bare hands to clear debris in the delicate mission, which was suspended overnight.

A seven-year-old Indonesian girl who was the subject of a day-long rescue effort after an earthquake killed at least 272 people in West Java has been found dead, rescuers told AFP on Friday.

Emergency workers found the body of Ashika Nur Fauziah, also known as Cika, under rubble in the worst-hit district of Cianjur town, the epicentre of the quake that triggered landslides, collapsed roofs, walls and buried victims in mounds of earth on Monday.

"The body was immediately handed over to the family," 28-year-old rescuer Jeksen Kolibu told AFP. "The family... was very sad. The mother was the one who received the body."

Dozens of rescuers had spent most of Thursday using digging tools, hammers and their bare hands to clear debris in the delicate mission, which was suspended overnight.

Cika was found under three layers of concrete on Friday morning, said Kolibu. Workers found her face down, encased by debris, with little space to breathe.

Rescuers covered her face and put her into a bodybag as her father Ahmad watched on holding his head in despair. He did not utter a word as she was handed over to him.

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Cika was buried at a nearby cemetery less than an hour after being found.

At the funeral, a cleric tried to calm a visibly emotional Ahmad.

Cika was then wrapped in a white sheet and lowered into the ground by three men as exhausted volunteers and firefighters watched.

"Whatever happens, I will try to accept it," Cika's mother said, crying as she held on to her daughter's sandals.

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