The death toll from last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has climbed to 1,347, officials say.

Many people were reported trapped in the rubble of buildings that collapsed in Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference. The quake also triggered tsunami waves as high as 6m (20ft).

Rescuers have been digging by hand in the search for survivors in the city of Palu.

The search for basic food items and drinkable water has become desperate for many, with police guarding shops to prevent looting.

It also means humanitarian envoys are entering the area under police guard.

The UN estimates some 200,000 people are in need of assistance in the area, with blocked roads and failing telecommunications making the aid effort difficult.

“What we now desperately need is heavy machinery to clear the rubble. I have my staff on the ground, but it’s impossible just to rely on their strength alone to clear this,” Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search-and-rescue agency, told AFP news agency.

Aid is being flown from the capital Jakarta into Palu airport, using the part of its runway still intact. Patients are being treated in the open outside city hospitals and at least one military field hospital has been erected.

 

Source: BBC News

Source 2: Newshub

Image: EPA / BBC News

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