Dozens of people are still trapped under the soil and debris as Indonesian rescuers bolster their work after an earthquake killed 271 people

In Cugenang district one of the villages is believed was buried by a landslide.
In Cugenang district one of the villages is believed was buried by a landslide. (AFP)

Thousands of rescue personnel have been looking for around 40 missing victims, who are stuck in the soil and rubble of collapsed buildings, in one of the worst-hit districts, Cugenang in Indonesia.

On Thursday, the fourth day of an increasingly urgent search, Indonesian rescuers narrowed their work to a landslide where dozens are believed trapped after an earthquake that killed at least 271 people.

More than a third of the victims of a magnitude 5.6 quake are children, according to Suharyanto, chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Rescuers equipped with backhoe loaders, sniffer dogs and life detectors — as well as jackhammers and bare hands — to bolster the search in Cijendil village, where a landslide set off by Monday's quake left tons of mud, rocks and trees.

Henri Alfiandi, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency said people are also working on other impacted areas to make sure that there are no more victims that need to be evacuated, 

“We hope all victims can be found soon,” Alfiandi said on Thursday.

READ MOREIndonesia quake survivors appeal for supplies as rescuers search debris

Six-year-old boy rescued

On Wednesday a 6-year-old boy was rescued who was trapped for two days under the rubble of his collapsed house.

The dramatic rescue captured on camera Wednesday evening revived hopes that survivors could still be pulled alive from the wreckage days after the tremor hit.

More than 2,000 people were injured in the quake that displaced at least 61,000 people to evacuation centres and other shelters after at least 56,000 houses were damaged. 

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency has said 171 public facilities were destroyed, including 31 schools. 

Shallow and deadly

Monday’s earthquake was shallow and shook a densely populated area that lacks earthquake-resistant infrastructure. Weak aftershocks continued until Thursday morning.

More than 2.5 million people live in mountainous Cianjur district, including about 175,000 in its main town, which has the same name.

President Joko Widodo pledged to rebuild the infrastructure and provide assistance of up to $3,180 (50 million rupiah) to each resident whose house was damaged.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin known as the “Ring of Fire.”

READ MORE: Death toll from Indonesia quake rises to 268: Officials

Source: AP