Indonesia tsunami: Death toll rises to nearly 1,350

266
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •   
  •  
  •  

International desk, October 03: The number of people known to have died in Indonesia in Friday’s earthquake and tsunami has risen to 1,347, disaster response officials say.

The death toll jumped on Tuesday from a previously confirmed figure of 844.

The 7.5-magnitude quake struck just off the central island of Sulawesi, setting off a tsunami that engulfed the coastal city of Palu.

Police are guarding shops against looters as people desperately search for food, fuel and water.

Officers initially took a lenient approach to survivors seizing basic goods, deputy national police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto said, but some people have since been arrested for stealing computers and cash.

“After day two the food supply started to come in, it only needed to be distributed,” he said. “We are now re-enforcing the law.”

Humanitarian relief convoys entering the city are being escorted by soldiers and police.

And there are fears some survivors may still be trapped under the rubble of buildings.

With hospitals damaged, injured people have been treated in the open and at least one military field hospital has been set up.

The military has taken over the airport to fly aid in, and injured people and other evacuees out.

But for thousands of people wanting to get the first commercial flight out of Palu, the wait continues.

“I’d get a plane anywhere. I’ve been waiting for two days. Haven’t eaten, barely had a drink,” 44-year-old food vendor Wiwid told Reuters.

On Monday, 3,000 to 5,000 people who wanted to be evacuated from Palu swarmed the airport hoping to hitch a ride on a military Hercules plane. The military arranged for them to depart on ferries instead.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs says there are nearly 200,000 people in urgent need of assistance, about a quarter of them children.

The British government said on Tuesday it was sending a transport aircraft filled with urgent aid to Indonesia.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Britain stands united with Indonesia as they recover from this devastating tragedy.”

Meanwhile, in the hills above Palu, volunteers are filling a vast grave with the bodies of the dead.

They have been told to prepare for 1,300 victims to arrive.

The 7.5-magnitude quake occurred at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) just off the central island of Sulawesi at 18:03 (10:03 GMT) on Friday, setting off a tsunami.

The earthquake was powerful but shallow and with more lateral than vertical movement, not typically the kind of tremor that sets off tsunamis.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has said the final death toll could be in the thousands, while the Red Cross estimates that more than 1.6 million people have been affected.

Source: News Agencies

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •   
  •