Indonesian tsunami: 832 confirmed dead, affected area bigger than initially thought

01 October, 2018, 11:01 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • People wear masks as they attempt to identify the bodies of their relatives at the compounds of a police hospital in Palu Indonesia's Central Sulawesi

As rescue workers comb through chunks of concrete and lumber searching for survivors, Indonesian officials say that 832 people were killed in a powerful quake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi.

Up to 60 people are feared to be underneath one Palu hotel alone. Hundreds of people gathered at the mall searching for loved ones.

Authorities struggling to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster have appealed for worldwide help.

CNN reports that the Indonesian National Armed Forces have been deployed to help with the rescue efforts.

It wasn't immediately clear what type of help was being authorised.

"We tried to find shelter, but then I heard people shouting, 'Water!"

A powerful natural disaster rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday, triggering a 3-meter-tall (10-foot-tall) tsunami that an official said swept away houses in at least two cities.

The facility in Donggala was set on fire and all 343 inmates were now on the run, Utami said. "I visited him last month, he's in good health but after this incident, we are continuing our effort to search for him, to make sure that he is safe", he told ANC's Dateline Philippines. Most casualties are from Palu, as the situation in outlying areas like Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong, is yet to be ascertained. Communication is still down, power is still out.

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Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said "many bodies" had been found along the shoreline of the Indonesian city of Palu on Sulawesi island which was hit by a major quake and a tsunami on Friday.

A video of the outskirts of Donggala shot on Sunday afternoon by the Indonesian Red Cross showed scenes of devastation, with houses flattened into piles of rubble and broken furniture. Aftershocks are still felt with the latest 5.5 magnitude on 29 September 2018 at 04:24 am (local time).

"We need tents, medicine, canvas, nurses ..."

Five foreigners - three French, one South Korean and one Malaysian - were among the missing, he said. The 832 dead included people crushed in the quake and swept away by the tsunami. Rahmansyah, who has one name, said many bodies have been pulled out of the debris already.

The ruins would be rebuilt, Mr Widodo said, as aftershocks continued to rattle the region.

Vision showed a fast moving wall of water flooding into the city, carrying cars, trees and parts of buildings with it. He said "many victims" are still to be accounted for.

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

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government had allocated 560 billion rupiah ($37.58-million) for disaster recovery, media reported.

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TRT World's Ben Said reports.

Rescuers try to rescue a 15-year old quake victim Nurul Istikharah from her damaged house following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sept. 30, 2018.

However questions will likely be asked about why Indonesia's warning systems appear to have failed on Friday. Nugroho, bemoaning a fall in funding, said no tsunami buoys, one type of instrument used to detect the waves, in Indonesia had been operating since 2012.

Indonesia's meteorological agency has been criticised for its response but officials said the waves struck while the warning was in place.

Mass graves were being readied Monday for hundreds of victims of an Indonesian quake-tsunami as authorities battled to stave off disease and reach desperate people still trapped under shattered buildings.

The tsunami was "about three meters high", Nugroho said.

Dramatic videos show rising waves smashing into buildings and people running away in fear.

From the Vatican, Pope Francis offered prayers for victims.

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The European Union has announced $1.74 million in immediate aid. Sulawesi is one of the biggest islands in the world and the drive from the nearest airport is around 10-12 hours.

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