Over 1,200 Deaths in Indonesia Due to Earthquake, Tsunami

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The number of deaths increases because there are still hundreds of victims buried under the rubble. (Photo: Tatan Syuflana / AFP).

Local media report that the lack of food and gasoline marks the priorities of the disaster’s survivors

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that shook the island of Celebes in Indonesia on Friday reached 1,203, the Rapid Action Team working in the affected area reported today.

Tom Lembong, chairman at Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, posted on social media that President Joko Widodo authorized to accept international aid for the urgent response and assistance after the disaster that wounded 540 people and displaced more than 16,000.

Local media report that the lack of food and gasoline marks the priorities of the disaster’s survivors.

The shortage of fuel threatens the generators that illuminate the city and are the only source of electricity due to the continuation of power outages and communications.

In a public ceremony held in Jakarta, Widodo said that the government will deliver food and water in large quantities to the earthquake and tsunami victims that will arrive on board a Hercules aircraft.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, said at a news conference in Jakarta that they will begin on Monday to bury the victims in a mass grave that have been prepared in Palu, one of the most affected cities, while the number of deaths increases because there are still hundreds of victims buried under the rubble.

The National Police will send about 1,400 troops to Celebes, to protect several stores to prevent cases of looting, Antara news agency reported.

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit the island of Celebes on Friday and the subsequent wave of approximately two meters high that broke against the coast, left in the region smashed cars, buildings in ruins, plucked trees and downed power poles.

Indonesia, an archipelago made up of some 17,000 small islands and islets located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, is one of the countries in the world most prone to natural disasters.

 

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