At Least 1,200 People Dead in Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia

Photo from AP

In Indonesia, more than 1.2 thousand people have been killed as a result of a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Ukrinform reported.

About 16.7 thousand people have been evacuated. In addition, 2.4 million people living in Dungal and Palu regencies need humanitarian assistance. The Indonesian government has allocated $51.4 million. The European Union has also provided 1.5 million euros or around $1.7 million.

Indonesia was hit on Friday by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves as high as six meters high.

A string of towns along the western coast of the island of Sulawesi remained cut off by washed-out roads and downed communication lines, leaving the extent of the damage and loss of life there unknown more than 48 hours. 

With much of the quake zone inaccessible, the relief effort has focused on Palu, a town of 380 thousand people, 1.5 hundred kilometers northeast of Jakarta. Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of several hotels and a mall. Hundreds more were feared buried in landslides that engulfed villages.

Three days after the disaster, thousands remained homeless, in desperate need of everything from medicine to blankets and food and water. Hundreds were still unable to reach their loved ones, as bodies piled up at government offices, and officials rushed to bury them for fear of disease.

Of particular concern is Donggala, a region of 300 thousand people north of Palu and close to the epicenter of the quake, and two other districts, where communication had been cut off.