Sulawesi quake: Death toll crosses 1,200 as rescuers race to reach victims

Егемен Қазақстан
01.10.2018 542

Francis Chan    Indonesia Bureau Chief

A general view of a tsunami-devastated mosque in Talise beach, Palu.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Rescuers are racing against time to reach victims of last Friday’s earthquake still trapped under rubble two days after the disaster. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise as more bodies are found, reports straitstimes.com

President Joko Widodo on Sunday (Sept 30) sought to reassure the victims in Central Sulawesi that no effort will be spared to help them get back on the road to recovery. “I hope people will be patient. We are working on this together,” he added.

His comments, made during his visit to parts of the provincial capital Palu, devastated by a 7.4-magnitude quake and a 3m-high tsunami it triggered, come as the death toll rose to more than 1,200 on Sunday.

The number is set to go up further as rescuers finally reach Donggala, which was cut off from them until Sunday because roads leading to the regency were damaged and communications were down.

Donggala, normally a 30-minute drive from Palu, is nearer the epicentre of the quake and the authorities are fearing the worst.

According to national disaster management agency BNPB, some 16,700 people have been displaced by the quakes, but about 2.4 million in Donggala and Palu will need humanitarian aid.

“Fuel, drinking water, medical personnel, tents, electricity, food and other essentials are urgently needed,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a press conference in Jakarta Sunday.

Emergency teams could not get to Palu earlier because parts of its airport runway and air traffic control tower were damaged by tremors. But the local air navigation authorities Sunday cleared Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie airport for more aircraft, including commercial flights, to land and take off.

The evacuation of quake victims, including a 53-year-old Singaporean who was in Palu for a paragliding competition, has also started with the additional flights.

Mr Ng Kok Choong, who was among more than 60 foreigners evacuated by Indonesian military (TNI) transport, arrived home in Singapore Sunday afternoon.

Rescuers are trying to reach those trapped under collapsed buildings.

But they are taking a more cautious approach when digging for survivors among the debris, as aftershocks were causing building structures to be unstable. Dr Sutopo said more than 200 aftershocks have been recorded since Friday.

Officers from national search and rescue agency Basarnas were seen chipping carefully through rubble at what remains of the Roa Roa Hotel in downtown Palu, while another team at the nearby Tatura Mall were trying to establish a safe access point into the building.

 Basarnas official Agus Haryono told reporters at the site that rescuers had detected mobile-phone signals inside the mall and were trying to find a way to get in.

Before he arrived in Palu on Sunday, President Joko mobilised the TNI and police to support rescue and relief operations. His administration has also set aside 560 billion rupiah (S$51.4 million) for relief efforts.

This latest crisis comes after earthquakes hit Lombok, a resort island in West Nusa Tenggara province, located south of Sulawesi, recently.

Relief efforts are still ongoing in Lombok, where nearly half a million people were left homeless following the series of deadly earthquakes in July and August.

Meanwhile, two Singapore Civil Defence Force officers are in Indonesia as part of a team from the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance.

LATEST

16.11.2018

Nursultan Nazarbayev, Vladimir Putin hold telephone conversation

16.11.2018

The first Interregional forum Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan was held in Shymkent

16.11.2018

By the end of November, 55 warm stops will appear in Astana

16.11.2018

Head of state meets with novelist, laureate of national awards Abdizhamil Nurpeisov

16.11.2018

UK Cabinet ministers approve draft Brexit deal

16.11.2018

Greece to move 6,000 refugees from island camps to mainland

16.11.2018

Ballets Scheherazade and Les Sylphides to be premiered in Astana

16.11.2018

Kazakhstan-Iran consular consultations held in Tehran

15.11.2018

The regular session of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan was held in Mangystau Oblast

15.11.2018

Bakytzhan Sagintayev holds a meeting of Expert Council on Competitiveness

15.11.2018

Kazakh-Slovak Business Forum to give huge impetus to further bilateral cooperation — experts

15.11.2018

Implementation of Presidential Instructions: Maytiev speaks about measures to increase tariff transparency

15.11.2018

Bakytzhan Sagintayev outlines priorities for building Kazakh-Slovak cooperation at business forum

15.11.2018

Kazakhstan hosted the first "Public dictation" in Latin

15.11.2018

Kazakhstan joins the Ashgabat agreement

15.11.2018

Kazakhstan supported the resolution of the UN Security Council to cancel sanctions against Eritrea

15.11.2018

The Head of State met with the Prime Minister of Slovakia

15.11.2018

Kazakhstan, Slovakia to boost trade turnover - PM Sagintayev

14.11.2018

Lower prices for medical services and drugs: Bakytzhan Sagintayev meets with medical community of Zhambyl region

14.11.2018

Meeting on tariffs in Zhambyl region: affiliated companies to be checked for legitimacy of overpricing

COLUMNISTS

Aliya Ashim, Journalist

Brazil’s version of trump: why is it «wake-up call» for the world?

<p style="text-align:justify">Racist, homophobe, misogynist and pro-torturer. Because of his profane outbursts and verbal abuse, he has earned such image and was considered as a political clown. Once he insulted lawmaker that she was too ugly to be worthy of raping. He said that he’d rather have a dead son than a gay one. Therefore, analysts concluded that Brazil has elected the most extremist president among democratic countries. So why does Brazil decide to make «really radical shift»? How does such «extreme» and «unpleasant» figure become a president? </p>

Jylkybay Jagyparuly,

Mechanical engineering is a potential pillar of the economy

In industrialized countries, one of the most important indicators of the economy is the level of development of the machine-building industry. Independent Kazakhstan, striving to achieve ambitious goals, is making great efforts to develop machine building in the process of diversifying its economy.

Alisultan Kulanbay,

June 4 - Day of State Symbols of Kazakhstan

State symbols - the State Flag, State Anthem and State Emblem demonstrate to the world the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, also continuity between the past, the present and the future of the state.

Ainash ESALI,

Is it all good that they advertise?

Advertising is the driving force of production and business. This is an indisputable fact.

Nazira RAKHMANKYZY, Film critic

Splash of commercial films in Kazakhstan

Last year, the number of feature films which filmed reached thirty-six in Kazakhstan. We should say that it is an unprecedented figure in the history of Kazakh cinema in the last quarter century.

Comments(0)

ADD A COMMENT