Confirmed deaths near 2,000, still more likely in Indonesia | Lexington Herald Leader

Confirmed deaths near 2,000, still more likely in Indonesia | Lexington Herald Leader

Confirmed deaths near 2,000, still more likely in Indonesia | Lexington Herald Leader

Efforts are in full swing to mend the runway of Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province, after the recent devastating earthquakes and tsunami in the Southeast Asian country, according to an Indonesian official.

In the Balaroa neighbourhood, also laid waste by liquefaction, the most intact structure was a battered two-storey house, pitched over at almost 45 degrees with one side buried and a blue vehicle in the auto port. Rescuers found about 25 bodies, laying them out in a row of blue and orange bags.

"There should be a monument here to make people aware, so that our grandchildren will know this disaster happened in 2018", said Muhlis, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Mr Wilmot said: "Thousands of people have had to leave damaged homes and flee to relatives or friends, but they may not be able to stay indefinitely". Besson said it will bring heavy equipment early Friday to try and rescue the person.

Adam Switzer, a tsunami expert at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, said from evidence so far it appeared the tsunami in Palu was generated by a submarine landslide, something most warning systems would not pick up.

Officials said it was still unsafe to use heavy machinery in some areas where soil had loosened and collapsed after the quake in a process known as liquefaction.

Indonesia sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", the world's most tectonically active region, and its 260 million people are vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Denis McClean, a spokesman of the UN Disaster Risk Reduction agency, told a briefing only public awareness would have saved people under these circumstances.

The country continues to receive global assistance, but the destruction is not able to deliver it to anyone who needs it. Planes with humanitarian aid to Indonesia sent 11 countries. A plan to relocate communities is being drawn up, the agency said.

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He said the survivors, many of whom had slept outdoors for days, queued to get into the Hercules aircraft. But they also had hope more aid would pour into the city of Palu and the surrounding Donggala district on the island of Sulawesi.

A grieving father was resigned to the search ending without his two-year-old daughter being found. "They erupted in cheers and gave a thumbs-up sign before we took off".

The second was followed by giant tsunami waves on the afternoon of the same day, destroying thousands of houses and roads. He found the bodies of his wife and older daughter but is still looking for his younger daughter.

Nearly all of the dead have been buried in mass graves.

"I'm here at this particular church because my own church is no more; it's levelled, and on its location there's a corn plant", she said.

Indonesia has traditionally been reluctant to be seen as having to rely on outside help for natural disasters.

An Air Force C-130 Hercules carried about 120 survivors 380 kilometres west, across the Makassar Strait, to the port city of Balikpapan, after dropping off 10.6 tonnes of aid to the city of Palu yesterday.

Sulawesi is one of the archipelago nation's five main islands, and like the others, is exposed to frequent earthquakes and tsunami. Many of lie buried in the mud.

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