1,234 People Dead In Indonesia Earthquake, Tsunami

Indonesia Indonesia tsunami Indonesia earthquake Indonesia death toll world news Indian Express

The Indonesian government said on Monday, October 1 that as many as 1,200 inmates have escaped from three detention facilities in the devastated region of Sulawesi following an quake and tsunami disaster.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told the BBC that the tsunami detector buoys - 21 floating devices connected to deep-sea sensors - weren't working.

The number of people known to have died in Indonesia in Friday's quake and tsunami has risen to more than 1,200, the country's disaster response agency says.

Indonesia is no stranger to natural calamities and Jakarta wanted to show that it was able to deal with a catastrophe that has killed at least 832 people so far according to the official toll.

Some 2,000 people are feared dead as rescuers struggle to reach previously cut-off areas near Palu, local media reported.

Authorities are desperate to stave off any disease outbreak caused by decomposing bodies, some of which are riddled with maggots.

Indonesian rescuers evacuate a survivor from under a collapsed restaurant building in Palu on Sunday. The EU Ambassador to Indonesia, Vincent Guérend, said "we will probably mainly channel this support via the Indonesian Red Cross and any other non-governmental organization which is in the capacity of delivering assistance on the ground".

President Joko Widodo told reporters getting those people out was a priority.

For two days, Edi Setiawan helped pull the dead and the living out of a sea of mud and debris, all of them victims of one of Indonesia's deadliest earthquakes in years.

Elsewhere, on the outskirts of Palu, lorries brought 54 bodies to a mass grave dug in sandy soil.

In Balaroa, a Palu suburb once home to a housing complex, flattened trees, shards of concrete, twisted metal roofing, door frames and mangled furniture stretched out into the distance. Twitter user @MpuAnon posted a video showing gold shops that looked like they had been looted.

"We suspect there are still some survivors trapped inside", the head of one rescue team, Agus Haryono, said at the collapsed seven-storey Hotel Roa Roa. All normal services in the town have broken down and there's little running water, power, food or drinking water.

"In Petobo, it is estimated that there are still hundreds of victims buried in mud material", Nugroho said, adding that almost 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Palu alone.

One survivor, Adi, said he was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami wave - which measured up to 6m (20ft)- struck land. He has no idea where she is now, or whether she is alive. At one mass grave which measured more than 50 metres (165ft), the smell of decomposition was said to be "overpowering". "I couldn't hold anything", he said.

State energy company Pertamina said it was airlifting 4,000 liters of fuel to the area to help with the rescue efforts, while state logistics agency Bulog said it was preparing to send in hundreds of tons of rice.

All of the victims coming from hospitals have been photographed so that families can identify their loved ones and locate where they are buried, Fox News reports.

Yenni Suryani, of Catholic Relief Services, said aid agencies were struggling to get staff into affected areas as the main airport at Palu was damaged, landslides had cut road links and "power is out nearly everywhere". There are large areas in the remote north that have yet to be accessible to rescue teams.

Thousands are still believed to be trapped underneath rubble after last week's quake and tsunami on the Indonesia island of Sulawesi.

Previously, Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo advised against looting - not even in the wake of a natural disaster - as the act is considered criminal.

The police tried to stop people taking non-food items - some were made to empty the sacks bulging with commandeered produce, and hand over plastic toys and toiletries.

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