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Quake victims struggle to survive as they resort to looting

02 October 2018

Authorities scrambled to get food, aid and equipment into Sulawesi on Monday as the death toll appeared certain to rise, three days after the 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami hit the island.

The remains of a building Sunday, after it collapsed following the natural disaster in Palu.

"We don't know how many casualties there are at the complex", said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the national disaster agency spokesman.

"Aid agencies and local authorities are struggling to reach several communities around Donggala, where we are expecting there to be major damage and potential large-scale loss of life", Howells said.

The European Union said it released an initial 1.5 million euros (1.7 million dollars) in emergency humanitarian assistance, while the United States said it stood "ready to assist in the relief effort". The magnitude 7.5 natural disaster struck at dusk Friday and generated a tsunami said to have been as high as 6 meters (20 feet) in places.

One woman told the network, "We have not eaten for three days".

A lack of funding hobbled an early-warning system in Indonesia that could have helped minimize the death toll of Friday's quake, according to its National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). The rescue effort has been impeded by a lack of heavy...

Thomas Lembong, chair of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board, tweeted Monday morning that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made the authorization.

Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population but also significant pockets of Christians, including on Sulawesi, which is one of the archipelago nation's five main islands. In addition, services for the identification and referral of separated and unaccompanied children, prevention of family separation, psychosocial support and education, will need to be scaled up as quickly as possible to protect children and help reestablish a sense of normalcy.

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Indonesian authorities have revealed that because of the sheer numbers of bodies being process in Palu, as each is identified it will be temporarily interred in a mass grave to stop the outbreak of disease.

Meanwhile, almost 50,000 people remain displaced and various parts of the nation "paralysed" amid the recovery efforts.

"We suspect there are still some survivors trapped inside", the head of on rescue team, Agus Haryono, told Reuters at the collapsed seven-floor Hotel Roa Roa.

At a collapsed seven-storey hotel in Palu, rescuers are still hunting for survivors. Many people were trapped and buried under collapsed houses.

Of particular concern is Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and close to the epicenter of the quake, and two other districts, where communication had been cut off.

The bodies of 34 Indonesian students have been found under a church which was buried by a mudslide after the quake in Palu, say aid workers. More than 800 people were killed when the quake sent a tsunami barreling into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

A man walks inside a shopping mall damaged by earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu.

Indonesia, which sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is all too familiar with deadly earthquakes and tsunamis.

Many people had to sleep on the side of the road and patients were treated in open spaces.

Quake victims struggle to survive as they resort to looting