Indonesia: Death toll from earthquake, tsunami amounts to 384
Updated : Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:30 AM (GMT+0700)

Thedeath toll from earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has amounted to 384 andhundreds of injured people remained in hospitals, said the Indonesian NationalBoard for Disaster Management (BNPB) on September 29.

 
Palu city in central Sulawesi after being ravaged by the tsunami - Photo: AFP/VNA

Most of the victims are inthe central Sulawesi city of Palu, the hardest hit by the tsunami.

According to Reuters, strong aftershocks continued torock the coastal city on September 29 morning after waves up to three metreshigh swept through the scenic tourist town.

Hundreds of people werepreparing for a beach festival to celebrate Palu's anniversary on September 28so the death toll would continue to rise.

Spokesman of theBNPB Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tsunami destroyed thousands of housesand residential areas, hospitals, malls, hotels and bridges.

The number of victims inDonggala town, including coastal areas near Talisa beach, has been unaccountedas BNPB has yet to receive any information from the town, which is 27km awayfrom the quake’s epicentre.

Rescuers, police, soldiersand volunteers have worked to evacuate people. Meanwhile, power shortageoccurred in many areas, hindering search and rescue.

After the quakes shook Paluand Donggata, thousands of people had to leave their houses to take shelters inhigher places on September 28 night. 

The Indonesian NationalSearch and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has set up temporary shelters while localpeople are waiting for aid, especially food and medicine.

Airplanes carryingnecessities were mobilised to support victims. However, the Mutiara Sis AlJufri airport in Palu was closed and its air traffic control centre was damagedduring the disaster, which could pose difficulties in aid and rescue in thecoming time. Road traffic in east and south areas to Palu were alsointerrupted.

Medical teams from theIndonesian government are on their way to Palu and Donggala of Central Sulawesiwhile local hospitals are overloaded.

The same day, United NationsSecretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his sympathies for the human andproperty losses caused by the earthquakes and tsunami and the UNSecretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said UN officials are readyto provide support as required.

Suwelasi was ravaged by twoquakes of 6.1 magnitude and 7.5 magnitude on September 28. A tsunami happenedafter the second quake hit the area in the afternoon of the same day.

A series of earthquakes inJuly and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok,hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

Indonesia sits on thePacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2004, a bigearthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunamiacross the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including morethan 168,000 in Indonesia.

Source:VNA

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