Cianjur earthquake victims pray Friday outside the mosque, fearing an aftershock

CIANJUR: A number of residents held Friday prayers in an open area near the paddy fields, fearing the occurrence of a follow-up earthquake after the walls of the mosque there were cracked and the windows were broken due to the 5.6 magnitude earthquake which resulted in the loss of nearly 300 lives.

Imam, Muhamad Jamhur said, the congregational prayer was held at the volleyball court located only 200 meters from the mosque whose walls were cracked and windows were broken due to the earthquake that hit the city of Cianjur, about 75 kilometers south of the capital Jakarta, last Monday.

“After this disaster, we are still afraid. So we had to move here in this volleyball court, not in the mosque. I ask the congregation to be vigilant because disasters may happen again,” said Muhamad.

Hundreds of aftershocks rocked around the Cianjur area, while residents were still grieving and traumatized by the loss of loved ones and some were sheltering in temporary tents while waiting for supplies of food, water, and medicine whose delivery was facing problems due to heavy rains and landslides.

Food trader Asep Hidayat, who like many others was left homeless by the earthquake, said he was grateful to be able to perform Friday prayers and pray five times a day even though he was not in a mosque.

“The prayer is obligatory and must be continued anywhere, even if it is not in the mosque,” he said.

Rescue teams are still continuing search and rescue operations, especially for the 39 people reported missing. – Reuters

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