Indonesian natural disaster death toll soars above 1,500

07 October, 2018, 15:45 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Image    Where the village of Petobo once stood it is now a muddy wasteland

"It will give the sense of security to the people so hopefully there will be no more looting", he said, adding that all supply convoys into the city will be escorted by armed soldiers.

According to the UN's humanitarian office nearly 200,000 people need urgent help, among them tens of thousands of children, with an estimated 66,000 homes destroyed or damaged by the 7.5-magnitude quake and the tsunami it spawned.

The State Disaster Agency warned people to stay at least 4km away, but said there was no need to evacuate for the time being.

Indonesian K9 police unit searches for victims in Palu, in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 5, 2018, following the September 28 quake and tsunami.

The 7.5-magnitude quake and the tsunami it spawned hit the provincial capital of Palu and the neighboring city of Donggala in Indonesia over the weekend.

"I'm still confused", he said, when asked where he will pray now.

According to Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management this morning, the death toll has so far risen to 1,558 people.

Palu residents crowded around daisy- chained power strips at the few buildings with electricity, or queued for water, cash or petrol being brought in via armed police convoy. "If I was healthy, I would surely do it no matter what", Nugroho told reporters this week, even as he continues to hold daily press briefings, take journalists' calls and communicate on social media.


Wiranto said on local television that the government is discussing with local and religious authorities and victims' families the possibility of halting the search for victims in such areas and turning them into mass graves.

"Red Cross responders are pushing their way through debris and damaged roads to reach new areas and try to help the survivors, and they are finding devastation and tragedy everywhere", Iris van Deinse of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement Wednesday.

"But we still can not be sure because there's a possibility that some people managed to get out", he said.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, visiting the disaster zone, said recovery would be completed in two years, beginning with a two-month emergency response phase when everyone who lost their house would get temporary shelter.

Indonesia has the world's biggest Muslim population but also pockets of Christians, including on Sulawesi, and other religions.

The improvements are helping with the aid effort.

"The government of Indonesia is experienced and well-equipped in managing natural disasters, but sometimes, as with all other countries, outside help is also needed", United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordinator Mark Lowcock said in a statement.

Indonesia and its 18,000 islands are located along the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire" and are frequently struck by quake, volcano and tsunami activity.

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