Lights back On In Indonesian Quake City, But Fate Of Thousands Unknown

07 October, 2018, 15:45 | Author: Donnie King
  • Body bags after Indonesia disaster

Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says 265 people are reportedly missing, though more may be buried under deep mud and the rubble of homes and buildings that have collapsed.

Hidayat was not on Sulawesi last Friday when the 7.5 magnitude quake struck, triggering a phenomenon called soil liquefaction, which turns the ground into a roiling quagmire.

The State Disaster Agency warned people to stay at least 4km away, but said there was no need to evacuate for the time being.

An earthquake-affected child drinks water at a makeshift camp in Palu in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 4, 2018, following the September 28 natural disaster and tsunami.

It should be mandatory for all infrastructure projects to be screened to ensure they are equipped to handle disasters and are then maintained, said Arghya Sinha Roy, a disaster risk specialist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. "They deserve better", Hidayat said as he left Friday prayers at a mosque in the centre of Palu, 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northeast of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

A French rescue team was using high-tech equipment that measures heartbeats and breaths to search for survivors under the rubble. Power has returned to parts of Palu, phone networks are back up and even some markets are open for business.

According to Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management this morning, the death toll has so far risen to 1,558 people. He spoke as numerous city and region's residents scrambled to get food, water and other supplies — with many resorting to taking things from shops and markets.

Despite the Indonesian government urging foreign rescue teams to "stand down" because the crisis was in hand, residents in hard-hit, remote villages like Wani in Donggala province said little help has arrived and hope is fading.

Residents whose homes have been destroyed spend hours often futilely trying to secure necessities such as fuel for generators, seven days on from the disasters.

"But we still can not be sure because there's a possibility that some people managed to get out".

But for the area to recover fully from the disaster "will take years", he added. "Indonesians have a big heart".

An global effort to help is gearing up, after the government overcame a traditional reluctance to take foreign help, according to Reuters.

Governments from Australia to Britain are flying in supplies, the United Nations has pledged $15 million to the relief effort, and aid groups including Save the Children and the Red Cross are also on the ground.

In 2004, a quake off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.



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