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Indonesian boy, 6, buried under debris for two days after earthquake pulled out alive

A six-year-old boy has been rescued from the rubble of his house two days after a deadly earthquake struck Indonesia, which killed 271 and injured hundreds.

Azka Maulana Malik managed to survive the destruction despite going without food or water for two days. He was saved by a wall which held up another collapsed structure, preventing it from falling from him. His grandmother was found next to him but had unfortunately died by the time rescuers got to them.

“He was found on the left side of the house, on a bed. He was protected by a pillow and there was a 10cm gap between him and the concrete slab,” said 28-year-old local volunteer, Jeksen. “Such a narrow space, it was dark, hot and there were not enough holes for air.”

In a video shared online by the local fire department, the boy appeared to be calm as he was lifted to safety by the rescue team.

“[Azka] is fine now, not wounded. The doctor said he’s only weak because he’s hungry,” one of his relatives Salman Alfarisi told the media.

The dramatic video of Azka’s rescue that was shared on Wednesday has revived hopes that survivors could still be pulled alive from the rubble and the wreckage of the devastating earthquake that hit the West Java town of Cianjur on Monday and killed at least 271 people.

Mr Alfarisi said that the boy had been asking about his mother who died when the earthquake hit on Monday.

“Once we realised Azka was alive everybody broke into tears, including me,” Mr Jeksen was quoted as saying by AFP on Thursday. “It was very moving, it felt like a miracle.”

Meanwhile, the death toll from the magnitude 5.6 earthquake in the west of the densely-populated Java island now stands at 271, but authorities expect that number to rise because some remote areas have yet to be reached.

Authorities said that heavy rain has hampered rescue efforts. About 40 people remain missing and more than 2,000 are injured.

Reuters reported that more than 170 aftershocks, including a 3.9 magnitude tremor on Wednesday afternoon, were recorded.

More than 12,000 army personnel were deployed on Wednesday to bolster search efforts by police, the search and rescue agency and volunteers, said Suharyanto, chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Mr Suharyanto, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said aid was reaching thousands of people left homeless who fled to temporary shelters, where supplies were being taken by foot over the rough terrain.

Nearly 62,000 survivors had been moved to shelters.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo visited Cianjur the day after the quake and promised to rebuild its infrastructure and provide assistance of up to $3,180 to each resident whose house was damaged.

Additional reporting from agencies