Tsunami kills hundreds in Indonesia

01 October, 2018, 08:40 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Patients are evacuated from a hospital following a strong earthquake in Poso central Sulawesi Indonesia

Two days after the 7.5 magnitude natural disaster hit the island, the death toll has continuously risen and authorities say more bodies could still be recovered.

"We will start the mass burial of victims, to avoid the spread of disease".

"The death is believed to be still increasing since many bodies were still under the wreckage, while many have not been reached", he said. "People here need aid - food, drink, clean water". "The minimarkets are looted everywhere". BNPB has not been able to get any information from the town of Donggala, closer to the epicentre of the quake 27 kilometres away.

Some 540 people were badly injured, it added.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set to visit the area later on Sunday.

Rescue teams are are working hard to help people affected by the quake and tsunami.

People are trapped in the rubble in the hard-hit city of Palu and can still be heard crying for help, said Muhammad Syaugi, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency.

"Communication is limited, heavy machinery is limited.it's not enough for the numbers of buildings that collapsed", he said.

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is all too familiar with earthquakes and tsunamis. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access hard in the best of conditions.

Aid and supplies were being sent in via military and commercial aircraft, including helicopters, to reach badly affected areas.

Residents stand in front of a damaged shopping mall.

"This morning I went back to the beach, I found my motorbike and my wife's wallet".

Most of the casualties were reported in Palu, the provincial capital, and the adjoining Donggala district, with 821 and 11 deaths respectively, Sutopo said.

Amid the levelled trees, overturned cars, concertinaed homes and flotsam tossed up to 50 metres inland, survivors and rescuers struggled to come to grips with the scale of the disaster.

On Saturday evening, residents fashioned makeshift bamboo shelters or slept out on dusty playing fields, fearing powerful aftershocks would topple damaged homes and bring yet more carnage.

Now-viral video footage shows the tsunami slamming into the shore, inundating streets and destroying buildings.

Hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of injured, with many people being treated in the open air. There were widespread power blackouts.

Ms Redstone said the areas hit by the quake and tsunami were densely populated with poor and vulnerable people.

Mobile phone footage showed waves as high as three metres slamming into houses and buildings in Palu's coastal area.

A Filipino detained in Palu City is one of 800 people still missing after a tsunami hit the Indonesia island of Sulawesi, the consul general said Monday.

There have been moments of relief for the people affected by the disaster, however.

"The Indonesian Red Cross is racing to help survivors".

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also expressed grief over the tragedy and said the Philippines was ready to help its neighboring country.

Friday's tremor was also felt in the far south of the island in its largest city Makassar and on neighboring Kalimantan, Indonesia's portion of Borneo island.

The initial quake struck as evening prayers were about to begin in the world's biggest Muslim majority country on the holiest day of the week, when mosques are especially busy.

The Philippines was "ready to respond and extend assistance to Indonesia", Cayetano said from NY, where he was attending the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Strong aftershocks hit the island on Saturday after Friday's quake.

Earlier this year, a series of powerful quakes hit Lombok, killing more than 550 people on the holiday island and neighbouring Sumbawa.


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