Indonesia earthquake-tsunami toll crosses 400, rescue operation in progress
International

Indonesia earthquake-tsunami toll crosses 400, rescue operation in progress

Jakarta, Sep 30: Rescue workers in Indonesia continued on Sunday to search the survivors, two days after a powerful earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi, which triggered a tsunami, killing more than 400 people.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake the island of Sulawesi on Friday in the coastal city of Palu, home to 3,50,000 people.

The death toll reached 405 early on Sunday, a CNN report said quoting Indonesian Disaster Management Agency. More than 400 people were severely injured.

Many victims were still buried under the rubble of buildings and houses, the agency said, and evacuation efforts were slowed by lack of heavy equipment and personnel.

Electricity and communications have been cut off, making it difficult to assess the damage in Palu and nearby fishing community of Donggala.

"It is not just the people in the large urban areas. There are a lot of people also living in remote communities who are hard to reach" Jan Gelfand, head of the International Red Cross in Indonesia, told CNN.

With Palu airport closed, relief workers have to make their way to Palu by road. Sulawesi is one of the biggest islands in the world and the drive from the nearest airport is around 10-12 hours.

The quakes come a month after a trio of earthquakes hit several islands in the South Pacific and Indonesia, including Lombok, which is still recovering from the effects of an August 5 earthquake that killed more than 430 people. (UNI)