December 10, 2018

PM Narendra Modi offers assistance to tsunami-hit Indonesia

04 October 2018, 01:18 | Darnell Patrick

Indonesia earthquake: Death toll skyrockets, mass prison breaks

Indonesia scrambles to help quake-hit island as death toll tops 800

The Indonesian government on Monday called for global help to deal with the aftermath of a devastating series on earthquakes and a tsunami in the island region of Sulawesi that killed at least 832 people.

Cities on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia are in a chaotic state after the latest devastating quake to hit the country, this one followed by a six metre tsunami that hit the town of Palu.

The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach areas that lost power and communication following the quake.

There was mounting concern over Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and close to the epicenter, and two other districts.

Most of the dead were from the city of Palu, where World Vision sent teams on Sunday morning.

With bodies piling up at medical facilities and concerns rising about disease, authorities in Palu began a mass burial, lining the dead side-by-side in a giant, freshly dug grave that could accommodate hundreds.

"We suspect there are still some survivors trapped inside", the head of one rescue team, Agus Haryono, told Reuters at the collapsed 7-storey Hotel Roa Roa.

Almost 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Palu alone, and hospitals were overwhelmed.

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More than 60, 000 people had been displaced after powerful quakes and a tsunami struck Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province on Friday, spokesman of the national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said here on Tuesday.

Most of the victims have been found under the ruins of collapsed buildings, houses and hotels, . though many are feared buried under landslides.

Quake and tsunami-hit Indonesia starts burying its dead and asks for global help after Friday's disaster left over 800 people dead and displaced tens of thousands.

Nugroho said that by far, 26 foreign countries and two global organisations had offered relief aids to the Indonesian Government.

One video which has been widely shared on social media shows the enormity of tragedy. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access hard in the best of conditions.

President Joko Widodo has opened the door to dozens of global aid groups and NGOs to help reach remote areas that still have not been reached since the twin disasters. "I could do nothing to help", resident Nur Indah said, with tears in their eyes. "We don't have any other choice, we must get food", one man in Palu told AFP as he filled a basket with goods from a nearby store. She said she was finally expecting to board a plane on Tuesday, and she was "absolutely delighted and thankful to God" for it.

Commercial airlines have struggled to restore operations at Palu's damaged airport but military aircraft have taken some survivors out.

Donggala resident Mohamad Taufik, 38, said five of his relatives remained missing.

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