Global

Fishermen Run From Tsunami Waves That Strike Donggala, Indonesia

Fishermen Run From Tsunami Waves That Strike Donggala, Indonesia

The death toll from an natural disaster and tsunami in Indonesia soared to 832 confirmed dead on Sunday, with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help.

The bodies are to be dug up and given an individual burial at a later date.

Dozens of people were believed to be trapped in the rubble of several hotels and a shopping center in the city of Palu on Sulawesi, about 930 miles from Jakarta, while hundreds more were feared buried in landslides that buried villages, Reuters reported.

"On the first day we heard voices from nine people".

Scientists at the Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), which runs the state-of-the-art Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS), detected the natural disaster on the Pacific Ocean bed at 3.30 p.m. (IST) on September 28, and immediately issued an alert to the Indian Oceanic community, including Indonesia, and worldwide networks.

There have been reports of looting, as people become desperate for food and other supplies.

The government was left with little option but to promise it would reimburse owners.

At least 832 people were confirmed dead as of Sunday evening, Indonesia's disaster agency said, with almost all of those from Palu.

One survivor, Adi, was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami struck on Friday. He has no idea where she is now, or whether she is even alive.

"My volunteers found 34 bodies ... children who had been doing a Bible camp", she said. "I was carried about 50 metres".

As the 32-year-old rushed outside, "the ground I stepped on cracked ... water and mud came out, more and more from all directions".

President Joko Widodo visited Palu on Sunday, inspecting the large-scale damage and consoling survivors.

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"The prison no longer had enough food", Utami said.

As dire as the situation in Palu is, it was at least clear. In outlying areas, the fate of thousands is still unknown.

Almost three days after the quake, the extent of the disaster was still not known, with the authorities bracing for the toll to climb - perhaps into the thousands - as connections with remote areas up and down the coast are restored.

Indonesia's Metro TV broadcast aerial footage from a coastal community in Donggala, close to the epicentre of the quake.

The tsunami was triggered by a 7.5-magnitude natural disaster that struck along the coastal district of Donggala on Friday.

Jan Gelfand, who heads the International Red Cross delegation in Indonesia, told media that the search and rescue efforts are being hampered by the remote location and the extent of the damage to local infrastructure.

State logistics agency chief Budi Waseso said it was preparing to send hundreds of tonnes of government rice stocks to areas in Central Sulawesi affected by the disaster.

Multiple failures: Although text message alerts were sent to warn locals of the approaching tsunami, the earlier natural disaster had brought down power and communication lines around the area, meaning alerts were never received. The impact washed away Palu's 300-meter (328 yard) double-arched bridge, plunging cars into the water. Roads were blocked and communications disrupted with other cities.

The quake hit at 5:02 p.m., quickly triggering a tsunami alert.

But many people are still looking for missing loved ones.

The initial quake struck as evening prayers were about to begin in the world's biggest Muslim majority country on the holiest day of the week.

Anies said the teams had been deployed for 10 days to help with relief efforts in the region.


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