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Tragic collapses: Some can be prevented

Duncan Graham

The Jakarta Post

Cirebon, West Java  /  Wed, April 24, 2019  /  04:38 pm
Tragic collapses: Some can be prevented

Revisited memory: Samini in the rubble of the studio by the plant marking the place where her husband died. (-/Erlinawati Graham)

It does not always take an earthquake to smash and kill. The morning of April 16 last year dawned like any other in the village of Gegesik outside the port city of Cirebon, West Java, about 220 kilometers east of Jakarta. Samini, 40, had sent her daughter, Tri Hana Sita, 10, off to primary school. Her eldest son, Aridh Newton Rachman, 22, was working far away. At the rear of the family’s house was a small studio that had been built of precast concrete blocks the year before. Here Samini’s husband Suherman bin Basan, 48, a dalang (puppet master) was leading a rehearsal of his gamelan group, called the Hidayat Jati, with the couple’s second son, Aziz Isaac Fathur Rachman, 20, and eight local children. The members of the group were getting ready for shows later in the month. “It was about half past 10 [in the morning]," said Samini. "I just w...