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Death toll from Indonesia quake-tsunami rises over 1,200

Death toll from Indonesia quake-tsunami rises over 1,200

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. The impact washed away Palu's 300-meter (328 yard) double-arched bridge, plunging cars into the water. The majority of Palu's inhabitants are Muslim. The other $100,000 was for the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta, to respond to other immediate needs. Officials say the government is housing over 48,000 people who were affected by the quake and tsunami. "We need field hospitals, medical workers, medicines and blankets". Roads were blocked and communications disrupted with other cities.

Authorities managed to open the local airport a day after the tsunami, allowing the Indonesian mlitary to start delivering aid.

There are 26 countries and two global organizations that have offered assistance in the form of air transportation, tents, water treatment facilities, generators, field hospitals and disinfectant, he told reporters.

Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan, reporting from Makassar, a port city in eastern Sulawesi, said help must come from overseas as the scale of the devastation has left everyone struggling to cope. Palu has suffered vast damage and gas stations too have been harmed.

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As the island nation reels under the powerful quake that hit Central Sulawesi, residents have been living without food and water for over five days. Ministry of Justice official Sri Puguh Utami said the prisoners had run for their lives "because they feared they would be affected by the natural disaster".

"It feels very tense", said 35-year-old mother Risa Kusuma, comforting her feverish baby boy at an evacuation centre in the gutted coastal city of Palu. Indonesia's Directorate General of Corrections said that inmates escaped from three over-capacity detention facilities. Germany provided a warning system developed by GFZ to Indonesia after a devastating tsunami killed 226,000 people in 2004.

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.