Foreign aid picks up for Indonesia's desperate quake survivors

08 October, 2018, 12:46 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • 4 2018 shows a collapsed mosque in the wake of an earthquake in Palu Indonesia. The death toll from multiple quakes and a tsunami in Indonesia

Indonesia is to launch a new plan for disaster risk management, resilience and transfer, with catastrophe bonds eyed as one potential financing tool, as the country begins the recovery from a number of earthquakes and the recent devastating Sulawesi quake and tsunami.

And the official toll of 1,234 dead is expected to grow as more bodies are recovered in the damaged areas.

Military and police were deployed to guard business districts to ensure security for business people to resume their economic activities.

The national disaster agency said the confirmed death toll from the magnitude 7.5 quake on September 28 increased slightly to 1,571. The government has said hundreds of people were severely injured in Friday's disasters.

The U.N. says its humanitarian office is reporting that "needs are vast" following the natural disaster and tsunami in Indonesia, with people urgently requiring shelter, clean water, food, fuel and emergency medical care.

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"A total of 148.4 million people (in Indonesia) settle in quake vulnerable areas, and as many as 3.8 million others live in areas vulnerable on tsunami strike", said Sutopo.

Local television reported that rescuers pulled out the bodies of the South Korean and an Indonesian from under the wreckage of the Roa Roa Hotel in the city of Palu, where most of the 1,424 deaths have been.

The Response Plan was developed in consultation with the Government of Indonesia counterparts, and articulates how the humanitarian community working in the country will provide targeted, technical assistance in support of the Government-led response.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said military transport aircraft from India and Singapore had arrived to help in the relief efforts, including transporting supplies and evacuating victims.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 11 transport aircraft have been pledged, including two each from Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and one from India.

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Palu has repeatedly been hit by the quakes and tsunamis that plague much of the Indonesian archipelago.

"There's no data", said Abdul Haris of the national search and rescue agency, when asked about the string of small settlements that line the road, which passes some sandy beaches that attract a trickle of tourists. "But not yet to the most inaccessible places", Sinta said.

The Indonesian government has previously allowed survivors to take food and other basic supplies from grocery stores to temporarily support their lives while aids were being delivered to them.

Among those leaving are a group of students attending an Islamic competition in the Sumatran city of Medan.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency estimated a series of earlier quakes that hit the resort island of Lombok in July and August had caused damages worth 12 trillion rupiah ($790 million) and killed almost 500 people. Many spend their days trying to secure basics like clean water and fuel for generators.

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Wiranto, who uses one name, said heavy equipment cannot operate in such areas because they could potentially sink in the soft mud.

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