Saturday, 17 November, 2018


New Zealand provides $1.6m emergency response for Indonesia quake, tsunami

Volunteers filling a mass grave were instructed to prepare for a total of 1,300 victims to arrive. * AFP Getty images Volunteers filling a mass grave were instructed to prepare for a total of 1,300 victims to arrive. * AFP Getty images
Bennie Garza | 02 October, 2018, 05:59

People inspect damaged houses in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an natural disaster and tsunami hit the area on September 28.

A series of earthquakes had been shaking the city of Palu, Indonesia, on Friday.

A Filipino detained in Palu City is one of 800 people still missing after a tsunami hit the Indonesia island of Sulawesi, the consul general said Monday. "We have not eaten in three days", she says. "We want to wait for relatives to pick them up, but we can't wait any longer".

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

Officials fear the death toll will rise into the thousands.

As survivors struggle with a lack of food, water, and shelter, they have been forced to bury numerous dead in mass graves.

When last week's quake struck, the government did issue a tsunami warning, but it lasted only a half-hour, and text messages might not have reached residents because of the damaged power lines and cell phone towers.

Search and rescue crews were looking for survivors several days after the quake and tsunami.

"The electricity and communication conditions for Palu, Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong are also paralysed", spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

- Mass graves were being readied on October 1 for hundreds of victims of the Indonesian quake and tsunami as authorities battled to stave off disease and reach desperate people still trapped under shattered buildings.

Of the deaths, 821 were reported in the provincial city of Palu and 11 in Donggala regency, the National Disaster Management Agency said on Sunday.

People drive past a washed-up boat and collapsed buildings in Palu on October 1, 2018, after an quake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. The rescue effort has been impeded by a lack of heavy...

The Chair of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board, Thomas Lembong, took to Twitter on Monday to announce that Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has authorized the acceptance of global aid for the disaster.

Sulawesi is one of the earthquake-prone archipelago nation's five main islands and is known to sit astride fault lines.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a massive tsunami tore through Indonesian coastal regions, claiming the lives of some 120,000 people.

Meanwhile, almost 50,000 people remain displaced and various parts of the nation "paralysed" amid the recovery efforts.

"We will send food today, as much as possible with several aircraft", Widodo told reporters in the capital of Jakarta.

The natural disaster and tsunami knocked out power to the island and left many residents without access to clean water and medical supplies.

"The ground rose up like a spine and suddenly fell".

More recently, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August. "In the evening, some of them turned on their cellphones just to give a sign that they were there".

Survivors are battling thirst and hunger, with food and clean water in short supply, and local hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of injured. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access hard in the best of conditions.

Nigel Timmins, Oxfam's humanitarian director, said 2.4 million people live in the affected area and it could take weeks to realise the full extent of the disaster.

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