At least 844 people dead after 7.5 quake, tsunami in Indonesia

Many gas stations in Palu have sustained heavy damage, and residents trying to leave the area are stuck waiting for gas.

One of them, Adi, was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami struck on Friday.

“But after day two, the food supply started to come in, it only needed to be distributed”.

Local administration head Kasman Lassa said residents should take only food staples from shops.

“The most challenging problem is travelling in the mud as much as 1.5 hours by foot while carrying the bodies to an ambulance”, she said.

On Monday, they returned, and recovered eight bodies.

Anger and desperation among traumatized residents of Palu appeared to be simmering, with some outbreaks of looting. “Please help, anybody in Palu and areas near the city”. Roads and bridges were destroyed.

Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, said on Monday: “The UK offers its deepest condolences to those affected by the devastating quake and tsunami in Indonesia which has left hundreds of people dead and thousands more homeless and in need of urgent help”. They made it out alive, but not all were so lucky.

A massive 2004 quake triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

Almost 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Palu alone, and hospitals were overwhelmed.

At least 50 people alone are believed trapped beneath the ruins of the city’s Hotel Roa Roa.

Indonesian media showed images of survivors entering the heavily damaged malls and supermarkets to loot supplies, despite the risk of building collapse.

Three French nationals and a South Korean, who may have been staying at a flattened hotel, had not yet been accounted for, it added. The man had been in the region for a paragliding competition.

“We feel like we are stepchildren here because all the help is going to Palu”, said Mohamad Taufik, 38, from the town of Donggala, who said five of his relatives are still missing.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said a mass burial would take place soon “as soon as possible for health and religious reasons”.

The Indonesian military is leading the rescue effort, but following a reluctant acceptance of help by President Joko Widodo, global NGOs also have teams on the ground in Palu. There are large areas in the remote north that have yet to be accessible to rescue teams. Meanwhile, 10 Vietnamese are safe and at Palu’s Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport camp. Emergency workers fear that many victims may still be trapped beneath the mud.

JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi on 2 October.

“Many of these children will have experienced unimaginable trauma and distress, seeing things no child should ever to have to see – losing their mother or father, and watching everything they have known washed away”, said charity organisation Save the Children’s Program Implementation Director Tom Howells in a statement.

Nugroho said it was President Joko Widodo’s call to decide whether Indonesia would accept global aid after he visited the areas devastated in the disasters and assessed the situation there on Sunday.

Widodo has authorized the country to request worldwide aid relief.

“The United States will provide initial assistance and continue to work with the government of Indonesia and our Mission in Indonesia to determine how best to respond”, a U.S. State Department official said Tuesday.

The British government is reportedly considering deploying other operational assets in the area to further assist relief efforts.

Many people had to sleep on the side of the road and patients were treated in open spaces.

With the ground still shaking from aftershocks, people were still too afraid to go indoors.

Quake victims struggle to survive as they resort to looting