Indonesia mulls making quake areas mass graves

09 October, 2018, 14:51 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Sulawesi

The quake and subsequent tsunami that struck Palu, Central Sulawesi, on 28 September are estimated to have destroyed 10,000 houses and damaged a further 55,000.

The number of people believed missing has soared to 5,000, an official said Sunday, an indication that far more may have perished in the twin disaster than the current toll.

Indonesian officials have said the search for victims of last month's quake and tsunami is to end on Thursday - despite the fact hundreds of people are still unaccounted for. Figures for more remote areas, some still cut off by destroyed roads and landslides, are only trickling in, if at all. "I'm from here so all my family are here, so many are gone", he said, reeling off a list of the missing including a sister, an aunt and cousins.

Officials confirmed to the BBC that a network of more than 20 floating detection units connected to underwater sensors which transmit advance tsunami warnings to the Indonesian meteorology and geophysics agency had either been damaged or stolen.

He said on local television that survivors in the Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge neighbourhoods could be relocated and monuments be built in the areas, which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims interred there.

There are fears that vast numbers of decomposing bodies could still be buried beneath Petobo and Balaroa - two areas virtually wiped off the map.

The national disaster agency says 1,700 homes in one neighbourhood alone were swallowed up and hundreds of people killed.

"We still don't know the fate of the clinic doctors, nurses and technicians who usually staff the clinic", the organisation said in a statement. Even if they give up, we won't.

Debris would be cleared and areas hit by liquefaction would be turned into parks, sports venues and other public spaces, the spokesman said.


"We don't agree with giving up". No-one has been found alive since the third day of the search. "We tried everything and have no response", said Philippe Besson, president of the International Emergency Firefighters team.

Thousands of those still missing are thought to be from the towns of Baleroa and Petobo, which was swept away following the 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami last month, leaving mass destruction in its wake.

"I don't want her to feel like her father never tried to find her".

Nearly all of the dead have been buried in mass graves.

The earthquakes and tsunami hit Indonesia on September 28.

The Indonesian military will deliver the supplies to the quake victims.

Jono Oge was hit hard by liquefaction with dozens of teenagers at a nearby church and Bible camp killed.

Indonesia has the world's biggest Muslim population but there are Christian communities throughout the archipelago, including in Palu.

Doctors said many patients have been at high risk of infection because they were buried in mud.

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