Indonesia quake-tsunami death toll tops 1,700

11 October, 2018, 02:33 | Author: Kim Reid
  • AFP  File | Hopes of finding anyone alive have faded

The quake and subsequent tsunami that struck Palu, Central Sulawesi, on 28 September are estimated to have destroyed 10,000 houses and damaged a further 55,000. "Not because we're thieves but because we really needed it", he said.

"There should be a monument here to make people aware, so that our grandchildren will know this disaster happened in 2018", said Muhlis, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Other survivors also said they heard no sirens, even though a tsunami warning was issued and then lifted 34 minutes after the quake, based on data available from the closest tidal sensor, around 200 km (125 miles) from Palu, which is on Sulawesi island. One villager said they survived by ransacking shops.

The dead were still being recovered more than a week after the double disaster.

Debris would be cleared and areas hit by liquefaction would be turned into parks and sports venues and will include memorials.

The death toll from the twin disaster on Sulawesi island that erased whole suburbs in Palu has reached 1,944, said local military spokesman M. Thohir.

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Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman of Indonesia's Mitigation and Disaster Agency (BNPB), holds a second news conference to brief reporters, September 29, 2018.

A floating hospital run by the Indonesian navy and docked in Palu port has already assisted with the delivery of a baby, local media reported.

Among them was 39-year-old Rudy Rahman, who said the bodies of his 18- and 16-year-old sons had been found. A plan to relocate communities is being drawn up, the agency said.

Frustrated French rescuers resumed their search at the Mercure Hotel in Palu on Friday but failed to detect the possible sign of life that was picked up by their sensors a day earlier. The natural disaster ripped apart the roads, hindering access, so helicopters have been dropping aid supplies to more remote areas.

His wife and two daughters have swept away in the tsunami that hit Palu's seafront after the natural disaster.

"I don't want her to feel like her father never tried to find her". Eight victims in black body bags were arranged in a row at the crumpled neighbourhood of Balaroa, destined for a mass grave.

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Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen has made a "private donation" to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to help survivors.

Sulawesi is one of Indonesia's five main islands and, like the others, is exposed to frequent earthquakes and tsunamis.

"We are so relieved to be alive but sad because so many of our congregation died", said Dewi Febriani, 26, after a service in a tent outside the Toraja Church in Jono Oge village, south of Palu.

The sense of relief was "palpable" among the 120 survivors huddled on the deck of the NZ Defence Force Hercules aircraft as it took off from the tsunami devastated Indonesian city of Palu. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.

There are fears that vast numbers of decomposing bodies could still be buried beneath Petobo and Balaroa - two areas virtually wiped off the map.

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