Indonesia's Death Toll Expected to Be In Thousands

Geneva Stokes
October 4, 2018

As the island nation reels under the powerful natural disaster that hit Central Sulawesi, residents have been living without food and water for over five days. Queues for fuel, which has nearly run out in the area, were miles long and the national police and troops were deployed to guard petrol stations and food shops. More than 800 people were killed when the quake sent a tsunami barreling into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

"We have not eaten for three days!" one woman yelled. "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.

But rescuers worry that they could find more victims of the disaster in the Donggala region, which is closer to the epicenter of the quake. "There are still unattended villages there", one resident pleaded on camera in the hope President Widodo would see it. Please pray for the family of the missing girl and for the many others affected by this major disaster.

He called for a "day and night effort" in response to the 7.5-magnitude quake - but landslides and damaged bridges are making access to some areas hard.

Donggala's administration head Kasman Lassa warned that police were struggling to control looters and advised locals to only take food and water if they were going to break into local shops. "We have anticipated it by providing food, rice, but it was not enough".

There was mounting concern over Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and close to the epicentre, and two other districts. "So, on this issue, we can not pressure them to hold much longer". A local television station reported that around 3,000 Palu residents had flocked to the local airport trying to get out but were not able. However, the people who survived in Palu are waiting for help to arrive.

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Elsewhere on the outskirts of Palu, lorries brought 54 bodies to a mass grave dug in sandy soil. Photos were taken of the corpses before they were buried so they could be identified by relatives.

About 1,700 houses in one Palu neighbourhood were swallowed up, with hundreds of people believed buried, the national disaster agency said.

Similar images have emerged from a number of Palu neighborhoods, including Petobo.

As per the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, more than 1.6 million were affected due to the deadly quake and tsunami.

"Heavy equipment is on the way".

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