Indonesia: 2,045 killed, 5,000 missing

Indonesia ends search for disaster survivors, focuses efforts on helping those who have already been located.

Guy Cohen,

Devastation after Indonesia's double disaster
Devastation after Indonesia's double disaster
Reuters

Nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia's island of Sulawesi, the number of dead has climbed to 2,045, with an additional 5,000 people still missing.

Over 80,000 people are now homeless, and approximately 10,000 have been injured.

However, authorities have called an end to the search for survivors, instead focusing their efforts on helping those survivors who have already been located.

The decision was made due to the fact that the chance of finding additional survivors is now nearly zero. Hundreds of corpses are discovered every day, and those who cannot be readily identified by family members are quickly buried in mass graves to prevent the spread of disease.

The earthquake especially damaged the city of Palu, where large areas are now buried in mud. The neighborhoods of Petobo and Balaroa will be closed off and declared mass graves. Later, the rubble will be cleared and the sites will be turned into parks with memorial plaques.

At a Jakarta press conference Wednesday, Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, "People are traumatized. They don’t want to go back."

"They asked to be relocated to another place and a house made for them."


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