February 19, 2019

Disease fears as more bodies found in Indonesia disaster

09 October 2018, 05:26 | Devin Moran

NZDF evacuates 120 quake survivors on Hercules aircraft from Palu

Air Loadmaster Sergeant Daniel Swanson and Indonesian soldiers help offload supplies flown into Palu on an RNZAF Hercules

Over 2,500 schools in Palu, Donggala and Sigi have been damaged in the disaster.

Her parents recognised her from the clothes she was wearing when the quake struck.

Aid is continuing to pour into hard-hit areas of Indonesia's Sulawesi island, which has been rattled by some 450 aftershocks since an quake and tsunami struck just over a week ago.

A woman cries after learning that her daughter was one of those buried at a mass grave after being recovered in the massive quake and tsunami at Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

Two of his soldiers emerge from the ditch with the body bag sagging in the middle but looking too light to be a corpse - they say they found the heads of two adults and one child. "I can't even count how many".

Ambulances on Friday brought a group of remains to the grave.

"We're going to clear off all the superficial rubble that's on top and get into the spaces and see if there are bodies", Mr Allibert told Reuters as he surveyed a awful jumble of debris. If we see body parts sticking out, we're going to dig to get the body out. "If there are bodies in the spaces, we'll extract them".

"They are in great need because the road is cut off and it's accessible only by air", Second Lieutenant Reinaldo Apri said after piloting a helicopter to rugged Lindu district, some 40 kilometres south of Palu.

"It might take 4 to 5 months to remove all the soil, and that's with the excavators", he said.

Aid has been slow to reach survivors, and desperate villagers have stormed into shops to grab food supplies.

A French rescue worker says his team, using high-tech scanners, has detected a person believed to be still alive under the rubble of a hotel in the Indonesian city of Palu, almost a week after it was struck by a powerful natural disaster and tsunami.

A coastal strip dotted with villages north of Palu was cut off for almost a week by landslides blocking its single road. Officials said rescue efforts will now focus on supplying aid and relief to survivors of effected areas.

He said on local television that survivors in the outlying villages in Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge could be relocated and monuments be built in the areas, which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims interred there.

Authorities have yet to conduct a tally of casualties in districts near the epicentre, but Lakuaci estimated dozens of people had been killed.

The government shunned foreign aid this year when earthquakes struck the island of Lombok but said it would accept help from overseas for Sulawesi.

Despite that, Allibert said it had been hard to get permits for Sulawesi.

As the sun set, a mass prayer ceremony was held by Palu's seafront that was scoured by the tsunami.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir told a briefing in Jakarta that 25 countries and four foreign organisations had offered help and ministries were coordinating to facilitate the arrival of their aid.

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