One week after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami rattled Indonesia, victims of both natural disasters united in the hard-hit city of Palu for a mass prayer gathering, Voice of America reported.
As of late Thursday, the death toll had climbed to 1,558, with an estimated 70,000 others still missing or displaced.
The Central Sulawesi city holds weekly prayer for the Muslim-majority community, but Friday’s gathering took on added significance as survivors gathered at Palu’s Talise beach to mourn losses and offer up prayers for missing relatives and neighbors.
— AFP Photo (@AFPphoto) October 5, 2018
It has been a week since an earthquake and tsunami struck #Palu, capital city of Central Sulawesi province in Indonesia. A group of Palu and Sulawesi residents offer prayer for those who were killed in the disaster. #PrayForPalu #PaluBangkit pic.twitter.com/DqlxZTr7WD
— Ted Regencia تِد (@tedregencia) October 5, 2018
Footage captured by Bernama News shows the utter devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami:
— BERNAMA (@bernamadotcom) October 5, 2018
As Faithwire reported earlier, local hospitals are currently overwhelmed with victims. Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla warned earlier this week that the final death toll could well surpass 2,000.
In one tragic case, some 80 children were killed or displaced after a church where they were attending a Bible camp collapsed during the brutal earthquake.
So far, the bodies of around 35 youths have been retrieved, but rescue efforts have been hampered by the enormous ground shifts that occurred during the earthquake itself and in the time since it hit. Reuters reported that the Jonooge Church Training Centre is now about 2 kilometers (around 1.25 miles) away from where it stood last Friday, before the disaster.
Please continue to pray for the families of the victims as they begin the long process of restoration and recovery.