Death toll from Indonesia’s quake-tsunami could be more than FIVE THOUSAND, as rescuers recover 2,000 bodies from Palu and say thousands more are missing

Monday, October 8, 2018
By Paul Martin

Series of earthquakes hit the northern island of Sulawesi on September 28, including a 7.5-magnitude tremor
1,944 bodies have been found so far but at least 5,000 are missing, meaning the death toll could be 7,000
UK has given £5million and Australia £6million while Apple and Google each handed over £770,000 aid

By CHARLIE MOORE
DAILYMAIL.COM
8 October 2018

The earthquake and tsunami which devastated Indonesia last Friday may have killed more than 5,000 people, rescuers fear as they continue to recover bodies from the rubble.

So far 1,944 bodies have been found but at least 5,000 are still missing, meaning the death toll could be as high as 7,000.

A series of earthquakes hit the northern island of Sulawesi on September 28, including a 7.5-magnitude tremor near Palu City which also triggered a destructive tsunami.

Whole suburbs were destroyed as houses crumbled to the ground. Bodies are still being found among the wreckage after hundreds were buried in mass graves.

The west has pledged millions to help the recovery – the UK has given £5million and Australia £6million while Apple and Google each handed over £770,000 ($1million).

‘The death toll is expected to rise, because we have not received orders to halt the search for bodies,’ said Mr Thohir, a member of the government’s official Palu quake taskforce.

Hopes of finding anyone alive have faded and the search for survivors amid the wreckage has turned to gathering and accounting for the dead.

A disaster agency working in the country said the official search for the unaccounted would continue until October 11 at which point they would be listed as missing, presumed dead.

But rescuers called off the search Monday at Hotel Roa-Roa, which was reduced to a tangled mess of twisted debris and smashed concrete by the force of the quake.

The hotel emerged as an early focus of efforts to extract survivors, with seven people pulled alive from its mangled ruins in the immediate aftermath.

But nobody else was saved as the days passed, and optimism faded as corpses surfaced from the wreckage.

‘The SAR (search and rescue) operation at Hotel Roa-Roa has ended, because we have searched the entire hotel and have not found any more victims,’ said Bambang Suryo, SAR field director in Palu.

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