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CNN's Dan Rivers: 'This is a living hell'

A woman fans her child Sunday in an overwhelmed hospital in Yogyakarta.

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On the Scene
Indonesia
Cable News Network (CNN)

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- A powerful earthquake in Indonesia has killed more than 5,000 people and left thousands more injured, many critically. CNN correspondent Dan Rivers visited one hospital to see how overwhelmed medics are coping with casualties from the disaster.

Rivers: A lot of the bodies have now been recovered, a lot of the injured have gone to the main centers and people are beginning to look at getting food and supplies in.

The airport is now cleared and they're beginning to get supplies in.

Earlier on today, I went to one of the main medical centers in the area, the Sarjito hospital in the city of Yogyakarta.

In the chaotic aftermath of this earthquake this local hospital is a living hell.

Every single piece of floor is occupied by injured survivors waiting for treatment, corridors and walkways choked with hundreds of patients, many of whom have not seen a doctor yet.

Some are now being evacuated to other Indonesian provinces, ferried past those who have been waiting for days.

"We were sleeping when the house collapsed and I managed to protect my wife from the falling debris," says 35-year-old Hartanto.

He has a nasty leg fracture, there are no painkillers, and he's been waiting out here for two days.

Another 35-year-old woman has just arrived with a broken hip.

She's gently lifted onto a makeshift bed in a parking lot, the vehicles cleared out to make room for patients, each parking bay marked by an intravenous drip.

She is fed by her 14-year-old son, there are not enough nurses for even the most basic care.

She says the roof of her house collapsed on her and she has been too scared of aftershocks to come to hospital.

This hospital is at breaking point, there are only enough beds for 750 patients but yet there are 1,700 people spilling out on to walkways awaiting treatment

Some 500 people need urgent operations and there are critical shortages of basic drugs.

I asked aid worker Susan Treadwell if she thought the shortages would lead to further fatalities.

Treadwell: I think people will die but I don't think any of us are expecting that. And certainly there are many humanitarian agencies here on the ground and there is a strong response from Indonesia.

Rivers: Help is on the way, but for those writhing in agony from operations without anesthetics, it can't come soon enough.

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