Palu airport to reopen after quake and tsunami

Cheryl Sanders
October 7, 2018

More than 2550 have been hospitalised with serious injuries and 113 are missing after Friday's disaster, according to the National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho.

An Australian air force Hercules will arrive in a earthquake-devastated Indonesian city on Thursday afternoon with equipment to build shelters.

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The government has said hundreds of people were severely injured in Friday's disasters.

But officials fear the toll could soar, as most of the confirmed dead have come from Palu, a small city 1,500 km (930 miles) northeast of Jakarta, and losses in remote areas largely cut off since Friday have yet to be determined.

A week after a major quake brought devastation to Indonesia's Sulawesi island, the death toll has passed 1,500 and tens-of-thousands remain in urgent need of clean water, shelter and medical care. "But not yet to the most inaccessible places", Sinta said.


Authorities earlier allowed desperate villagers to grab food supplies from shops but have warned them not to take other things.

The process to deliver aids for refugees and survivors of tsunami faced difficulties as the mainland accesses to Palu and Donggala were clogged by stones rolling down from hills due to aftershocks that made it riskier for aids team to get supplies to Palu.

Doctors have been flocking to help from other parts of Indonesia.

"We need quite a lot of tents".

Authorities set a tentative deadline of tomorrow to find anyone still trapped under rubble, at which point - a week after this devastating double disaster - the chances of finding survivors will dwindle to nearly zero.

The chanting marked the end of a day filled with prayers and more burials as many survivors leaned on their faith to help them overcome grief and confusion.


The military was deploying battalions to the hardest-hit two cities to ensure the security of stores and mini markets, so that people can buy food and groceries.

To date Australia has committed over $5.5 million to support the Indonesian Government and humanitarian partners in the tsunami and quake relief response.

The U.N. humanitarian office said "needs are vast", with people urgently requiring shelter, clean water, food, fuel and emergency medical care.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Tuesday that United Nations and relief agencies are on the ground or en route.

The death toll from the quake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian province of Celebes a week ago reached 1,571 on Friday.

"We will start again here ourselves because God does not strike twice", said Eko Joko who was building a new house, a wooden A-frame home, in the midst of a wasteland of concrete, mangled sheets of iron and uprooted trees near Palu's beach.


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