The village of Petobo in Indonesia was almost totally destroyed by last week’s devastating earthquake.
Drone video footage reveals the devastation, showing crumbled homes and other buildings.
A survivor told The Guardian that he saw his neighbors get buried alive by mud that swamped his village. “It’s like that movie, 2012: doomsday,” said 24-year-old Joshua Michael.
“The houses just got sucked into the earth and then the mud came over and sealed them over,” he told the publication. “I saw my neighbors get buried alive.”
Residents said the road moved up and down, likely due to soil liquefaction caused by the massive tremor. Locals described it as a land tsunami.
“It’s doesn’t make sense,” added a local resident, Dicky Christian, “but it’s real.”
Video footage of the earthquake taken near Palu shows the process of liquefaction in action. Entire buildings, trees, and cars are sucked into the earth and can be seen sliding into one another.
“I mean Petobo just sank into the earth, and it was a densely populated village,” Sudiryo Djalano, a political campaigner, told the Guardian. “There were about 11,000 people in Petobo and I think maybe half are gone,” he added.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a government spokesperson, said: “The liquefaction damage is unprecedented in Indonesia, despite high seismic activity,” Sky News reported. He said most victims in Petobo are in crushed homes buried under several feet of mud.
In the quake, reports said that more than 1,400 people are confirmed dead as of Oct. 4 and more than 70,000 are now homeless.