Death toll in Indonesia earthquake rises to 1,234


Death toll in Indonesia earthquake rises to 1,234

In Summary

  • Bodies of victims remain unburied on the side of the roads.
  • Aid agencies described the situation on the ground as "nightmarish."
  • U.S. and Australia pledged millions in support buy on the ground, there's little evidence so far of the pledges.

The death toll from an Indonesia earthquake and tsunami has risen to 1,234, the national disaster mitigation agency said.

 A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday triggered tsunami waves as high as six meters (20 feet), which swept ashore at the small city of Palu, on the west coast of Sulawesi.

Rescuers have yet to reach many affected areas leading to fears the death toll could rise again.

The situation for those still alive has grown increasingly dire as families scrambled to get even the most basic of goods.

This is because the roads to Palu, a city of 350,000 people remain blocked and aid has been slow to trickle in.

An official from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent described the situation on the ground as “nightmarish.”

Bodies of victims remain unburied on the side of the roads.

In a public cemetery on the outskirts of the city, workers are digging a mass grave the size of a football pitch to try to bury as many bodies as quickly as possible before disease begins to spread.

Palates of supplies are en route to the affected area courtesy of organisations like the Red Cross, who sent seven tons of logistical supplies from Jakarta on Tuesday.

Countries from around the world have begun to announce aid packages for Indonesia as well.

Australia, one of the country’s closest neighbours, said it had already provided $500,000 (Ksh.50million) of support immediately through the Indonesian Red Cross.

“Australia has some expertise and has resources in particular areas we can deploy, and we are looking to see how we can best fit the need,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

The United States announced it had released $100,000 (Ksh.1omillion) in initial disaster assistance on Monday, according to a state department spokesman.

But on the ground, there’s little evidence so far of the pledged aid with shipments expected to arrive in the days ahead.

Report by Reuters and CNN

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