“Mass Burials”, Looting Begins As Death Toll From Indonesia Quake And Tsunami Hits 832

Sunday, September 30, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 09/30/2018

The death toll from the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday has climbed to 832, making it already more lethal than a series of quakes that hammered another Indonesian island in July and August. Rescuers struggled to reach trapped victims as debris from the storm left many remote areas out of reach.

To prevent the spread of disease, health officials organized mass burials as desperate survivors resorted to looting, according to the South China Morning Post.

“The casualties will keep increasing,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, whose agency announced 832 deaths.


“Communication is limited, heavy machinery is limited…it’s not enough for the numbers of buildings that collapsed,” Nugroho said.

“Today we will start the mass burial of victims, to avoid the spread of disease.”

Indonesian officials said the number of casualties is expected to rise significantly as some remote areas remain inaccessible.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the final death toll in the north of Sulawesi island could be in the “thousands” since many regions have still not been reached.

Bodies lay in an open courtyard at the back of a hospital in Palu, the regional capital, rotting under the intense tropical sun, while a triage site operated nearby. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of dead.

The Indonesian military had been deployed to Palu, and rescue workers were combing the rubble in search of trapped victims, looking for dozens believed trapped a collapsed hotel. As survivors climbed over the leveled trees, overturned cars, crumpled homes and debris spread up to 50 meters inland, survivors and rescuers struggled to come to grips with the scale of the disaster.

Survivors assembled makeshift shacks and slept outside. Several C-130 military transport aircraft with relief supplies managed to land at the main airport in Palu, which reopened to humanitarian flights and limited commercial flights, but only to pilots able to land by sight alone.

In Donggala, close to the epicenter of the quake, some waterfront homes had been destroyed by the tsunami, though many residents fled to higher ground after the quake hit.

“When it shook really hard, we all ran up into the hills,” a man identified as Iswan told the TV.

“I have one child – he’s missing,” Baharuddin, a 52-year-old Palu resident, said as he stood on floor tiles smeared with blood.

“I last spoke to him before he went to school in the morning.”

Indonesia’s disaster agency said about 71 foreigners were in Palu when the quake struck, with several, including three french nationals and a South Korea, remaining unaccounted for.

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