Desperate rescue operations have continued across Indonesia as the level of devastation caused by last week’s earthquake continues to worsen. Some 1,200 people have been confirmed dead as a result of Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake, including 34 children who were attending a Christian Bible camp.
The most affected area, which was subject to a massive Tsunami following the quake, is the small city of Palu — all but around 23 of the confirmed deaths have occurred in the city. The death toll has increased so rapidly that makeshift mass graves have been dug to accommodate the overwhelming casualties.
— ITV News (@itvnews) September 30, 2018
“We don’t know how many victims could be buried there, it’s estimated hundreds,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, as reported by Reuters.
“It’s devastating,” added aid worker Lian Gogali, noting that thousands were still attempting to flee affected areas, but were hampered by impassable roadways.
RT @USUN: The images of the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia are difficult to imagine. Our hearts and prayers go out to our Indonesian brothers and sisters during this difficult time. The United States stands in solidarity ready to help in relief efforts. #PrayForIndonesia pic.twitter.com/xNIo3QPlO0
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) October 1, 2018
Indonesian Red Cross spokeswoman Aulia Arriani said it was her workers who found the Christian children.
“My volunteers found 34 bodies … children who had been doing a Bible camp,” she said.
According to the BBC, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has warned that the final death toll could well surpass 2,000.
“I know there are many problems that need to be solved in a short time, including communications,” he said on a visit to disaster areas in Palu.
— Man of Rock (@FailedRift) October 1, 2018
BBC News Correspondent Rebecca Henschke described the deteriorating humanitarian situation as hospitals become overwhelmed with the dead and injured:
“Lying on a stretcher in the dark outside the Mamboro health clinic in Palu is a five-year-old girl with a broken leg. She was found alone, Doctor Sasono tells me. “We don’t know where her family is and she doesn’t remember where they live.” His clinic has no power and is running out of medical supplies.
A few metres from her stretcher bed are rows of bodies in bags. The smell of decomposition fills the air. Dr Sasono says they will be buried in mass graves to stop the spread of diseases: “They are starting to smell. We want to wait for relatives to pick them up, but we can’t wait any longer.””
Latest on Indonesia earthquake, tsunami:
– Death toll: 800+
– Mass burial for 300+ bodies underway
– 500 treated at hospitals, thousands displaced
– government appeals for international aid for relief, rehabilitation
– Multiple mass prison breaks in quake-tsunami zone: AFP pic.twitter.com/eGpELdYZdP
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 1, 2018
The Red Cross has warned that the situation could get much worse, predicting that a staggering 600,000 people could be affected by the quake. To make matters worse, local officials are reporting that 1,400 inmates have escaped from local prisons in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
"We need to eat"
Survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia have been looting shops and petrol stations in the aftermath of the disaster
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 1, 2018
On Dec. 26, 2004, a massive tsunami tore through Indonesian coastal regions, claiming the lives of some 120,000 people. Another 106,000 were killed across a further 12 nations, including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Please pray for all those affected by this horrendous tragedy.