Monday, 15 October, 2018

5,000 feared missing as Indonesia quake death toll rises

Землетрус в Індонезії кількість жертв перевищила 1640 осіб NZDF evacuates 120 quake survivors on Hercules aircraft from Palu
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 17:24

Officials said Saturday the death toll had climbed to 1,649 with more than a thousand maybe still missing in the seaside city on Sulawesi island, after the region was hit by a powerful quake and a wall of water.

Indonesian national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says the body of a South Korean missing since last Friday's quake and tsunami in central Sulawesi has been found.

The 7.5-magnitude quake struck just off the central island of Sulawesi at 18:03 (10:03) on Friday at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles), setting off a tsunami that soon after engulfed Palu with waves of up to 6m.

Min Kapala, a 49-year-old teacher, said she came to the city of more than 25 churches from an outlying area because her usual house of worship was destroyed and liquefaction moved a different piece of ground to its location.

"Based on reports from village chiefs in Balaroa and Petobo, some 5,000 people have not been found".

The national disaster agency says 1,700 homes in one neighbourhood alone were swallowed up and hundreds of people killed.

An aerial picture taken from Indonesian Red Cross helicopter shows a disaster devastated area in Petobo, Palu, Central Sulawesi.

"[The survivors] can not stay for very long in the displaced persons camps because [the children] must return to school soon", BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a press conference on Sunday, adding that emergency schools may be set up using tents.

Spokesman of joint task force for Central Sulawesi province Col. Infantry Muh Thohir said that a total of 2,549 people were still in hospitals for medical treatment after the disasters hit the central province on September 28.

The Aid or access is still an obstacle to reach the stricken communities on Indonesian island of Sulawesi, UN aid agencies said on Friday.

"An 11-truck convoy will depart from Makassar carrying about 83,000 litres of water, in 19-litre plastic jugs that can be reused by the people in the area", IOM spokesperson Paul Dillon said, adding the convoy was bound for Donggala.

Despite that, Allibert said it had been hard to get permits for Sulawesi.

Indonesia had been reluctant to accept outside help at first but as the scale of the disaster became clear, the government agreed to allow in foreign aid.

Indonesian police say 92 people have been arrested for looting goods in areas devastated by an natural disaster and tsunami in Central Sulawesi province.

The New Zealand Defence Force has evacuated 120 survivors from earthquake-ravaged Palu in Indonesia.

Two of his soldiers emerge from the ditch with the bag sagging in the middle but looking too light to be a corpse - they said they had found the heads of two adults and one child.

Officials reiterated that the search is expected to end on Thursday.

Thousands of survivors continued to stream out of Palu to nearby cities in the aftermath of the disaster. Several other nations have also sent planeloads of aid.