Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Indonesian tsunami: 832 confirmed dead, affected area bigger than initially thought

People wear masks as they attempt to identify the bodies of their relatives at the compounds of a police hospital in Palu Indonesia's Central Sulawesi At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia
Charlie Simmons | 01 October, 2018, 09:58

The 7.5-magnitude natural disaster and subsequent tsunami that hit the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday is confirmed to have killed hundreds of people, the New York Times reported on Saturday, with at least 405 confirmed deaths in the city of Palu and the toll likely to rise much higher as search-and-rescue teams continue to arrive.

The death toll from multiple strong earthquakes and an ensuing tsunami which devastated Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province has jumped to 832, a spokesman of the national disaster management agency said on Sunday.

One survivor, Adi, was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami struck on Friday.

The death toll from Indonesia's quake and tsunami disaster almost doubled to 1,200 on Sunday (Sept 30) and was expected to rise further, prompting authorities to announce mass burials in a desperate attempt to stave off disease.

Authorities have said they expect the death toll to rise. Photos confirmed by authorities showed bodies being lined up along the street on Saturday, some in bags and some with their faces covered with clothes.

"There are estimated to be many victims in this area". Officials on Sunday shared chilling videos and photos on social media of land "liquefaction" in the wake of the disaster, where the soil turns into something akin to quicksand and drags buildings along with it.

A shopping mall turned into rubble and the large dome of a mosque collapsed in the coastal city of Palu, home of 350,000 people. Several were pulled out alive, and rescuers could hear the screams and cries of others throughout the night, and lights shining from cellphones underneath the rubble. Most were accounted for, but one South Korean was believed to be trapped in the Roa-Roa Hotel, while three others from France and one from Malaysia were missing. "Heavy equipment is on the way".

Dozens of injured people were being treated in makeshift medical tents set up outdoors, TV images showed.

Nugroho said that the casualties and the damage could be greater along the coastline 190 miles north of Palu in a regency called Donggala, which is closer to the epicenter of the quake.

With local hospitals crowded by hundreds of wounded, doctors were forced to treat the injured outside.

Other disastrous results include the escaping of over half of the 560 inmates who were contained in prison in Palu.

"At that time, the electricity went out, and there were only a few officers". Nugroho said waves were reported as high as 6 metres (20 feet) in some places.

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"The water turned turbid, and can not be consumed".

"When the wave came, I lost her", he said. Some waterfront homes appeared crushed but a resident said most people fled to higher ground after the quake struck.

Looters were stealing from the badly damaged shopping mall.

Meanwhile criticisms have been levelled at the country's geophysics agency for lifting the tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued, which may have led to confusion and exacerbated the death toll.

"There is no sound of siren [or] sign of the tsunami".

There were concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start on Friday, September 28, the disaster agency said.

"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives and devastation due to tsunami and quake in Central Sulawesi in Indonesia".

Residents carry a victim after after an quake and a tsunami.

Taiwanese officials have told him that the government would help Indonesia if needed, he said, adding: "For the time being, Indonesia can handle the situation".

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is all too familiar with earthquakes and tsunamis.

A mosque damaged following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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