Victims of the Indonesia disaster buried

Pauline Gross
October 14, 2018

Heavy equipment hasn't been able to operate in neighbourhoods where the earth turned to mud, hampering the search effort, and many bodies have decomposed beyond recognition due to the tropical heat.

This as the South East Asian country halted all search and rescue operations. "We've stayed here for too long".

Rescuers will still be positioned in Palu until 26 October, the date on which the state of emergency imposed on the area after the disaster should be lifted.

These next few days, the prayers should be held in three of the towns most affected around Palu: Balaroa, Petobo and Jono Oge.

Monuments and parks are planned to remember untold numbers of victims buried by soil and rubble in Palu.

'What else can we do?

"I think the Indonesian government is operating appropriately at this time".

It's likely that numerous dead will never be found, and the true toll of the disasters will never be known.

Clean drinking water and medical supplies are still in short supply, and many survivors were entirely reliant on handouts to get by.

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However, it is mostly guesswork because of how far the ground moved during liquefaction."We hope the families understand that there's very little hope at this point", said search volunteer Hadrianos Poliamar. But none of those compare with the 2004 tsunami that killed some 226,000 people in 13 countries, more than 120,000 of them in Indonesia alone.

"This is the only thing I can do, otherwise I would go insane", he said, choking back tears. Approximately 80,000 displaced persons shelter in makeshift shelters near their destroyed homes.

Getting vital supplies to affected areas has proved challenging as flights into Palu remain limited by its small airport, and overland travel is slow.

Indonesia initially refused worldwide help, saying the military had the situation in hand. The agency has issued guidelines that say foreign aid workers can be in the field only with Indonesian partners.

"It certainly seems like the Indonesian government is wanting to ensure they can control which agencies are actually coming in to assist", Mr Forsyth said. But look at all these people, ' he said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said waves less than 0.3 metres high could be expected on coastlines in Papua New Guinea and neighbouring Solomon Islands.

Several buildings in Jembrana regency, Bali, have been damaged following a 6.0-magnitude natural disaster that occurred at 02:44 a.m. local time on Thursday.

Three people have died and four more have been injured following a strong natural disaster off the cost of Indonesia's popular holiday destinations of Java and Bali islands on Thursday.

Earlier, a series of earthquakes in Lombok in eastern Indonesia killed more than 550 people during the summer.

Other reports by GizPress

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