Published: 2018-10-08 10:16
Last Updated: 2018-10-08 13:09
The destructive earthquake that struck the Sulawesi Island last week has left 2,000 dead, Indonesian authorities stated on Monday, October 8, 2018. The numbers are expected to rise, as thousands are still missing.
According to member of the government's official Palu quake taskforce, Mohammad Thohir, a total of 1944 bodies was found in the town and suburbs of Palu city, which was hit by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by massive tsunami on September 28. "That number is expected to rise, because we have not received orders to halt the search for bodies," Thohir told AFP.
Authorities fear there may be some 5,000 still missing under the rubble. But hope in finding survivors is little, and efforts are being focused on recovering the bodies and counting them.
The Indonesian government is fearing that two towns near Palu have been entirely destroyed by the disaster, and declared the areas mass graves and to be leave abandoned.
About 2,000 people are urgently in need of humanitarian assistance, and suffer a shortage of fresh water.
Red Cross teams, excavators, rescuers and bulldozers work around the hour to comb through the rubble. While military and non-governmental organizations have been able to gradually overcome logistical obstacles.
The size of the casualties remains unknown in remote areas, as helicopters were able to deliver food and supplies only.