Monday, 21 January, 2019

Indonesia quake, tsunami toll reaches 1763

Indonesian crews sift through mall wreckage where hundreds may be buried after quake Indonesia quake, tsunami toll reaches 1763
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 14:53

The natural disaster 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.

The death toll from multiple strong quakes and an ensuing tsunami in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province jumped to 1,944 as of Sunday as the search and rescue operation is expected to be completed on Thursday, military and disaster agency officials said.

The disaster agency said the official search for the unaccounted would continue until October 11 at which point they would be listed as missing, presumed dead. Figures for more remote areas are trickling in but they seem to have suffered fewer deaths than the city. Food and clean water remain in short supply, and many are dependent entirely on handouts to survive.

That stretch of coast was not hit by a big tsunami, although surging waves did carry away many fishing boats, they said.

He said on local television that survivors in the Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge neighbourhoods could be relocated and monuments be built in the areas, which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims interred there.

"It's sad to see our school like this", said Dewi Rahmawati, 17, who expects to graduate next year and wants to study economics at university.

Hoax warnings have proliferated since the magnitude 7.5 quake and tsunami on Friday, and the national disaster agency has asked people to only rely on credible sources of information.

Nugroho said the debris would be removed from those places and they would be turned into public spaces like parks and sports venues. "But we must start again soon to keep their spirits up and so they don't fall behind", he said.

"We don't want the community to be relocated to such risky places", he said.

A grieving father was resigned to the search ending without his two-year-old daughter being found.

"We don't agree with giving up".

"Classes haven't started. We're only collecting data to find out how many students are safe", he said.

"I want school to start as soon as possible so I can find out how my friends are doing", said Muhamad Islam Bintang Lima, dressed in the school uniform of white shirt and navy blue pants.

Nearly all of the dead have been buried in mass graves.

- Reuters pic More than a week after a major quake hit the west coast of Indonesia's Sulawesi island, rescuers workers were focusing yesterday on what looks sure to be a long, hard search for bodies, many buried in appalling morasses of debris and mud.

His wife and two daughters were swept away in the tsunami that hit Palu's seafront after the quake.

The quakes and tsunami have forced a total of 62,359 Indonesians to flee their homes and take shelter in makeshift tents and under tarpaulins at 147 evacuation centers, he added.

Central Sulawesi, of which Palu is the capital, has a history of violent conflict between Muslims and Christians, though tensions have calmed in the past decade.

In some areas, rescuers use sniffer dogs to detect victims buried under tons of mud and debris.