Indonesia earthquake and tsunami death toll surpasses 830

Indonesia earthquake and tsunami death toll surpasses 830

Indonesia earthquake and tsunami death toll surpasses 830 Izvor: Ilustracija, REUTERS

As rescue workers comb through chunks of concrete and lumber searching for survivors, Indonesian officials say that 832 people were killed in a powerful earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi.

Two days after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the island, the death toll has continuously risen and authorities say more bodies could still be recovered.

Indonesian Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho estimates that 2.4 million people were impacted by Friday's earthquake.

As of Sunday, there were no reports of US citizens affected in the quake, the US Embassy in Jakarta told CNN.

Families carried the few belongings they could retrieve in plastic bags and backpacks to outdoor shelters where thousands hope to receive aid.

Hundreds were badly injured and at least 17,000 people were left homeless, Nugroho said.

The lack of heavy equipment and personnel has slowed down rescue efforts in the coastal city of Palu, where workers were scrambling Sunday to rescue about 50 people trapped beneath the debris of a collapsed hotel.

Electricity and communications have been cut off and roads that are severely damaged or blocked by landslides are making it difficult to assess the damage, Nugroho said.

Jan Gelfand, head of the International Red Cross in Indonesia, says help is also on the way for the fishing towns of Donggala and Mamuju, two areas feared to be heavily devastated.

"The Indonesian Red Cross is racing to help survivors but we don't know what they'll find there," Gelfand said.

"This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse."

With Palu airport closed, relief workers have to make their way there by road.

Sulawesi is one of the biggest islands in the world and the drive from the nearest airport is around 10-12 hours.

POVEZANE VIJESTI

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