Indonesia quake-tsunami toll crosses 800, rescue operation in progress

Indonesia quake-tsunami toll crosses 800, rescue operation in progress

Agency News

Jakarta, Sep 30: More than 832 people have been killed in Indonesia after a powerful earthquake rocked archipelago nation, triggering a tsunami, Indonesian Disaster Management Agency said on Sunday.

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake had rocked the island of Sulawesi on Friday in the coastal city of Palu, home to 3,50,000 people. Rescue workers in Indonesia continued on Sunday to search the survivors, a BBC report said quoting Indonesian Disaster Management Agency.

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 BBC. 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)