Indonesia quake-tsunami death toll rises to 1,407, as survivors are forced to scavenge in ‘zombie towns’

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia on Friday has climbed to 1,407
A 7.5magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi island, which was followed by 20ft tsunami waves
Indonesian ifficials fear the toll could soar, as losses in remote areas on Sulawesi remain unknown
Survivors are scavenging for food in towns and villages levelled by the quake-tsunami

3 October 2018

Hungry survivors of an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia said on Wednesday they were scavenging for food in farms as President Joko Widodo made a second visit to the area to ramp up aid efforts five days after disaster struck.

The official death toll from the 7.5 magnitude quake that hit the west coast of Sulawesi island last Friday has today risen to 1,407, with many killed by tsunami waves it triggered.

But officials fear the toll could soar, as most of the confirmed dead have come from Palu, a small city 930 miles northeast of Jakarta, and losses in remote areas remain unknown.

National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said most of the aid effort had been concentrated in Palu, where electricity supply has yet to be restored.

But rescue workers have begun to reach more remote areas in a disaster zone that encompasses 1.4 million people.

Johnny Lim, a restaurant owner reached by telephone in Donggala town, said he was surviving on coconuts.

‘It’s a zombie town. Everything’s destroyed. Nothing´s left,’ Lim said over a crackling line. ‘We’re on our last legs. There’s no food, no water.’

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