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Man Found Alive Amidst Rubble in Quake-Ravaged Nias


Five days after a devastating earthquake struck near Indonesia's Nias Island, rescue workers found a survivor beneath a collapsed house. Meanwhile, the government says it will take at least three months before basic services can be restored to the region.

Singapore rescue workers found a survivor beneath a collapsed house five days after a magnitude 8.7 earthquake struck near Indonesia's Nias Island.

Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in the quake, which devastated the island, cutting electricity and water supplies and destroying much of the island's infrastructure.

On a visit to Nias Saturday, Vice President Yusuf Kalla said it will take at least three months before electricity and water can be fully restored to the island.

Residents stand outside earthquake-damaged homes on Nias island, Wednesday
Thousands of people have been left without shelter following Monday's quake, which struck just three months after the December 26 quake and tsunami that devastated the region and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Thousands of people are leaving Nias, scared by aftershocks and traumatized by the quake coming so soon after the tsunami.

Evelyn Omsipuro lost her home, but saved her family. Still, she is too frightened to remain on Nias.

"I'm scared, my body's very sick," she said. "No good, everything no good. I'm scared to stay here. I'm very scared. No life here, no food here, everything no good here."

Candy Iha, a nurse from Hawaii, brought her 13-year-old daughter to Nias with her when she came to volunteer on a medical mission. They decided to stay behind after the medical team left, only to be caught up in the quake and its aftermath.

Mrs. Iha says she spent days attending to medical emergencies, ranging from stitching cuts to delivering a baby within hours of the quake.

"But then being here during the earthquake, I always believe that God put it in my heart to come here for a reason," she said, "and I believe the reason we got kept behind for the earthquake, the reason only a few of us stayed behind was to help these people."

Mrs. Iha's daughter, Saskia, says the experience has changed her.

"People don't have that much here, and just to appreciate what you have and stuff, and help as much people as you can," she said.

While the aid effort for Nias is in full swing, many people inland, where roads have been destroyed and many homes damaged, say they need food and water.

Forty-year-old Irwan lost his wife in the quake. At her funeral, where distraught relatives grieved, Irwan says the situation inland is getting critical.

"Also, the people, they need food," Irwan said. "Our food is less now, it is lack[ing]."

A young Muslim girl lost her home, and said she finds comfort in prayer.

The United Nations says its priority now is to deliver safe drinking water to the island's traumatized inhabitants.

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