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Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach many thousands

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Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach many thousands

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:34 am

Indonesia earthquake: Hundreds dead in Palu quake and tsunami

More than 380 people have been confirmed dead after a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit an Indonesian city on Friday.

Waves up to 3m (10ft) high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island.

Video on social media shows people screaming and fleeing in panic and a mosque among the buildings damaged.

Strong aftershocks continue to rock the city. Thousands of homes have collapsed, along with hospitals, hotels and shopping centres.

Rescue efforts are under way, though hampered by a major power cut. The main road to Palu has been blocked due to a landslide, and a key bridge brought down.

'Many bodies along the shoreline'

Indonesia's disaster agency said at least 384 people had been killed, but the number is expected to rise. At least 540 have been injured.

"Many bodies were found along the shoreline because of the tsunami, but the numbers are still unknown," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency, told Reuters.

"When the threat arose yesterday, people were still doing their activities on the beach and did not immediately run and they became victims," he told a news briefing.

Some survived by climbing six metre (18 ft) trees to escape the huge waves, the spokesman said.

A less powerful quake earlier on Friday had killed at least one person and injured at least 10 in the smaller fishing town of Donggala.

In Palu, hundreds of people had been preparing for a beach festival that was due to start on Friday night.

The city's main hospital was damaged in the quake, and TV footage showed dozens of injured people being treated outside in makeshift medical tents.

Palu and Donggala are home to more than 600,000 people. President Joko Widodo said on Saturday that troops were en route to the area to reinforce rescue teams and help retrieve bodies.

The main airport in Palu has been closed since the tsunami hit. A minister said the runway had been damaged but that it was hoped helicopters would still be able to land.

The country's military is sending cargo planes of relief aid from the capital, Jakarta.

The earthquake hit just off central Sulawesi at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) just before 18:00 (11:00 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

A tsunami warning was issued, but lifted within the hour. Indonesia's meteorological agency has been criticised for its response, but officials said the waves struck while the warning was in place.

Dramatic video of the tsunami hitting Palu shows the high waves sweeping away several buildings and then the large tilted mosque in the town, about 80km from the quake's epicentre.

"The situation is chaotic, people are running on the streets and buildings collapsed. There is a ship washed ashore," said Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency.

Link to Article and Photos

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45683630
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Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach many thousands

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Re: Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach many thousands

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:37 am

Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach thousands

The confirmed death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has risen to 832, and the vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, has warned it could reach into the thousands.

More than 150 aftershocks followed the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Sulawesi on Friday, causing thousands of homes, hotels, shopping malls and several mosques to collapse.

Of the fatalities, 821 were in the city of Palu, with 11 casualties so far recorded in Donggala, the worst-hit area, which is home to 300,000 people. Hundreds of bodies have been found on beaches and authorities fear many may have been washed out to sea.

Speaking at a press conference, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for the BNBP disaster agency, said the area affected was much bigger than originally thought.

“The deaths are believed to be still increasing since many bodies were still under the wreckage while many have not able to be reached,” said Sutopo, emphasising that access to Donggala, as well as the towns of Sigi and Boutong, was very limited so the final death toll was impossible to predict.

The city of Palu has been completely devastated by the earthquake and tsunami waves, which reached as high as six metres in some areas. In the city, partially covered bodies lay near the shore and survivors sifted through a tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber, rubble and flotsam. One man was seen carrying the muddy corpse of a small child.

“Many corpses are scattered on the beach and floating on the surface of the sea,” one local resident, Nining, told local media. The identified bodies are being buried in mass graves, Sutopo said.

Sutopo confirmed there was no electricity in Palu and Donggala, while drinking water and fuel were running out. There was limited access to heavy equipment needed to help rescue efforts, so the search for people trapped in the rubble was mostly being carried out by hand.

Rescue efforts are continuing for dozens of people still trapped in the collapsed ruins of the eight-storey Roa Roa hotel in Palu, with voices heard screaming from the wreckage. “There are 50 people under the rubble of the building. Heavy equipment is needed for evacuation,” said Sutopo.

There were concerns about the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start on Friday, a spokesman for the BNBP said.

At least 540 people had been badly injured, the agency said, as hospitals struggled to cope with the influx of casualties, setting up open-air clinics to treat the injured.

Dwi Haris, who suffered a broken back and shoulder, rested outside Palu’s army hospital, where patients were being treated outdoors due to the continuing strong aftershocks. Tears filled his eyes as he recounted feeling the violent earthquake shake the fifth-floor hotel room he shared with his wife and daughter.

“There was no time to save ourselves. I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall, I think,” said Haris, adding that his family was in town for a wedding. “I heard my wife cry for help, but then silence. I don’t know what happened to her and my child. I hope they are safe.”

The Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, who visited the region on Sunday, said earlier the military was being called to the region to help search-and-rescue teams.

One of the first casualties of the earthquake, 21-year-old Anthonius Gunawan Agung, is being hailed a hero after he stayed in the air traffic control tower as the earthquake hit, to make sure that a flight to Bali could take off safely. Agung then jumped from the control tower as it was collapsing, but did not survive the fall.

Many residents slept in makeshift shelters, terrified that the powerful aftershocks could topple their damaged homes.

Some voiced criticism of the agency that lifted the tsunami warning. The agency said it followed standard operating procedure and made the call to “end” the warning based on data available from the closest tidal sensor, about 125 miles (200km) from Palu.

“We have no observation data at Palu. So we had to use the data we had and make a call based on that,” said Rahmat Triyono, the head of the earthquakes and tsunami centre at BMKG. He said the closest tide gauge, which measures changes in the sea level, only recorded an “insignificant” 6cm wave and did not account for the giant waves near Palu.

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. “We all panicked and ran out of the house” when the quake hit, said Anser Bachmid, a 39-year-old Palu resident. “People here need aid – food, drink, clean water.”

Dramatic video footage captured from the top floor of a parking ramp in Palu, nearly 50 miles (80km) from the quake’s epicentre, showed waves bring down several buildings and inundate a large mosque.

About 17,000 people have been evacuated, the BNBP said.

“This was a terrifying double disaster,” said Jan Gelfand, a Jakarta-based official at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “We have heard nothing from Donggala and this is extremely worrying. There are more than 300,000 people living there. This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse.”

Friday’s tremor was also felt in the far south of the island in its largest city Makassar and on neighbouring Kalimantan, Indonesia’s portion of Borneo island.

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, when mosques are especially busy.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth. It lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide and many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Earlier this year, a series of powerful quakes hit Lombok, killing more than 550 people on the holiday island and neighbouring Sumbawa.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... sands-dead
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Re: Indonesia tsunami: death toll could reach many thousands

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:17 pm

Death toll from massive earthquake and tsunami in
Indonesia jumps to 1,203 as rescuers battle to save
scores of people screaming from within the rubble


    A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday caused a massive tsunami to crash into Sulawesi island on Friday

    The cities of Palu and Donggala were worse hit as beachgoers were swept away by the enormous waves

    A government spokesman confirmed Sunday the death toll had risen to 1,203, doubling the last number

    Access to several towns along the coastline has hampered relief efforts as transport networks are down

    Criticism has been levelled at the government for initially lifting a tsunami warning after Friday's quake
The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami that devastated part of the island of Sulawesi has risen to 1,203 - with the total number expected to climb higher still.

The tsunami, which was triggered after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake, ripped through the Pacific Ring of Fire and crashed into the Palu at 500mph, causing widespread destruction into the evening on Friday.

Figures collected by the National Police Headquarters put the number killed at 1,203 people. The death toll is expected to climb even higher. Search and rescue team have struggled to reach cut-off communities feared wiped out by the disaster.

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said access to Donggala, as well as the towns of Sigi and Boutong, is still limited and there are no comprehensive reports from those areas.

Government officials said rescuers could hear screams from within the rubble of several buildings on Saturday evening as they battled through the night and into Sunday to free those trapped.

'The death is believed to be still increasing since many bodies were still under the wreckage while many have not able to be reached,' Nugroho said.

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach.

The town of Mamuju was also severely affected but currently impossible to access due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

Meanwhile criticisms have been levelled at the country's geophysics agency for lifting the tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued, which may have led to confusion and exacerbated the death toll.

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town.

The number of casualties was no doubt increased by the fact that hundreds of people had descended on Palu's beach for a festival to celebrate the city's anniversary, due to start Friday night.

TV footage showed images of destroyed houses in Donggala and areas that were once land now inundated with water. Aerial video also showed the battered coastline surrounding Palu.

Looters were stealing from a badly damaged shopping centre in Palu that was not being guarded. They did not appear to be concerned about their safety, despite ongoing aftershocks and the structure's questionable stability.

Residents were also seen returning to their destroyed homes, picking through waterlogged belongings, trying to salvage anything they could find.

Link to Full Article - Photos - Videos:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... nesia.html
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