Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Rescuers Carry Bodies From Collapsed Roa Roa Hotel in City of Palu

Rescuers help a child trapped in rubble in Palu but heavy machinery is in short supply Image Rescuers help a child trapped in rubble in Palu but heavy machinery is in short supply
Leonard Rios | 04 October, 2018, 18:35

The confirmed death toll from an quake and tsunami on Indonesia's Sulawesi island has risen to 1,234, from 844, the national disaster agency said on Tuesday.

Officials warned the death toll could rise into the thousands, as rescuers were still struggling to get into some of the hardest hit areas.

Anger and desperation are growing in parts of Sulawesi as residents faced a fourth day without food and drinking water after the Indonesian island was devastated by an natural disaster and a tsunami.

Four badly hit districts have a combined population of about 1.4 million.

Most of the dead were from the city of Palu, where World Vision sent teams on Sunday morning.

Among those killed are also 34 Indonesian students whose bodies were found under a church buried by a mudslide.

Rescuers buried 54 bodies in a mass grave on the outskirts of Palu.

"We suspect there are still some survivors trapped inside", said Agus Haryono, head of a rescue team working at the site.

More than 65,000 homes were damaged and more than 60,000 people have been displaced and are in need of emergency help.

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Nugroho said that by far, 26 foreign countries and two global organisations had offered relief aids to the Indonesian Government.

Views of destruction are evident everywhere in the areas struck by quake followed by disgusting tsunami. For now, many people are having to sleep on the street with limited access to food or vital medications, the BBC reports.

According to national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, rescuers are now concentrating on Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Muntong with more than 800 confirmed as critically injured.

The government of Indonesia has requested worldwide assistance after a powerful 7.4 magnitude quake hit Central Sulawesi on September 28.

Before-and-after satellite pictures show a largely built-up neighborhood just south of Palu's airport seemingly wiped clean of all signs of life by liquefaction.

Aftershocks have rattled jangled nerves. Her mother, who lives in the southern part of the island, is safe, but three cousins are missing and an uncle has stayed behind in the disaster zone to search for them.

"This was a terrifying double disaster", Jan Gelfand, an official in Jakarta for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told The Guardian.

About 3,000 residents flocked to Palu's airport, trying to board military aircraft or one of the few commercial flights using the facility only partially operating due to damage.

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