Indonesia's quake-tsunami disaster

Survivors try to flee Palu as aid starts to flow in | The Thaiger

Indonesia scrambles to help quake-hit island as death toll tops 800

Willem Rampangilei, the chief of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said the grave was dug in Palu, where the majority of the casualties have been recorded and is 33 feet by 330 feet.

Most of the attention so far has focused on the biggest affected city, Palu, home to 380,000 people, but people in many outlying areas are still waiting for assistance.

The death toll in the devastating tsunami and natural disaster in the island nation reached 844 on Monday, according to Indonesian authorities, who have warned that the toll might run into thousands as rescuers try to reach more affected areas.

Desperation is visible everywhere in areas heavily damaged by an quake and tsunami, four days after the disaster devastated parts of Indonesia's central Sulawesi island.

"A total of 34 bodies were found by the team", Arriani said, adding 86 students had initially been reported missing from the Bible camp at the Jonooge Church Training Centre in Sigi Biromaru district. A quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia. With supplies dwindling, administrator Kasman Lassa said citizens were taking food and other essential items from shops.

"Everyone is hungry and they want to eat after several days of not eating", Lassa said. There are more than 300,000 people living there. "So, on this issue, we can not pressure them to hold much longer".

Indonesian authorities have announced that the bodies of the dead will be tagged and temporarily interred in a mass grave in the hills above the city, to prevent the outbreak of disease.

Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee said the magnitude 7.4 quake and tsunami struck the provincial capital of Palu and the neighboring city of Donggala.

( Reuters ) A woman cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo arrived in the region Sunday afternoon to see the devastation for himself.

About 50 people were believed to have been caught inside the hotel when it was brought down.

The European Union, the USA and China are among more than 10 countries who have offered assistance.

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