India expresses deep sympathies to tsunami-hit Indonesia, assures all help

Howard TerryOct 01, 2018

The confirmed toll of 832 dead looked certain to rise as rescuers slowly reached devastated outlying communities hit on Friday by a 7.5 magnitude natural disaster and subsequent tsunami waves as high as six meters (20 feet).

Help and supplies are being flown from Indonesia's capital city Jakarta to the island of Sulawesi.

The death toll from twin disasters on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a major quake and the tsunami that followed, jumped to more than 800 on Sunday as rescue workers were only just starting to take stock of the wreckage - pulling out survivors buried under the rubble from a collapsed hotel, treating patients in tents and racing to get food and water to survivors.

National Search and Rescue Agency said it had rescued a survivor from the ruins of the Roa-Roa Hotel in Palu. "All we knew is that 24 guests were successfully evacuated and one has died", hotel owner Ko Jefry told Metro TV on Saturday night. Hundreds of people gathered at the mall searching for loved ones.

In addition, the Commission would also deploy a humanitarian expert to the area to help coordinate relief efforts and had also activated its emergency Copernicus satellite mapping service, according to a press release also released on Sunday evening. He said there were still not comprehensive reports about casualties in surrounding coastal areas. Some are still thought to be trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings.

"This is extremely worrying", it said in a statement. She said the quake destroyed her workplace, but she managed to escape and quickly went home to get her mother and younger brother.

The agency on Saturday was widely criticised for not informing that a tsunami had hit Palu, though officials said waves had come within the time the warning was issued.

The Red Cross said that more than 1.6 million people have been impacted by the quake and tsunami.

"I have one child, he's missing", the 52-year-old says.

There were concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start on Friday, September 28, the disaster agency said.

The tsunami was triggered by a strong quake that brought down buildings and sent locals fleeing for higher ground as a churning wall of water crashed into Palu, where there were widespread power blackouts.

Questions have been raised about what caused the tsunami, with speculation an underwater landslide was to blame.

The 7.5-magnitude quake struck Friday, sparking a tsunami that ripped apart the city's coastline.

"We prepared a helicopter from Balikpapan in Kalimantan to take him to a bigger hospital in another city", Mr Sirait said.

Amateur video footage aired by TV stations showed waves crashing into houses along Palu's shoreline, scattering shipping containers and flooding into a mosque.

"The tsunami. dragged cars, logs, houses", Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster agency, told Reuters news agency.

But it's been hard to get around as bridges have collapsed and roads are blocked. Based on INASAFE shake map, it is estimated at least 300,000 people are exposed to MMI1 V-VII in Donggala district and it is predicted that the event affected more population in other districts.

Bodies have been lying in city streets and the injured are being treated in tents because of damage to hospitals. Photos on his Twitter page show bodies lined up in body bags, as police begin the grim task of identifying them and reporting the deaths to families.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo was scheduled to visit evacuation centres in the city later on Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Indonesia had not asked for help but he had contacted President Widodo overnight to offer support and deep sympathies.

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