Indonesia quake, tsunami toll reaches 2,010

Jakarta: Indonesian authorities on Tuesday raised the death toll to 2,010 from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Sulawesi island on September 28.

The official number of missing remained 671 while it is feared that 5,000 people could be still buried under the rubble, reports Efe news.

The majority of the victims, 1,601, died in Palu, the provincial capital of Central Sulawesi, the most affected region, National Agency for Disaster Management spokesperson, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said during a press conference.

The rest of the deaths occurred in Sigi (222), Donggala (171) and Parigi Moutong (15) regencies in Central Sulawesi while one death was registered in Western Sulawesi.

Sutopo said that 10,679 people were injured, with 2,549 of them seriously injured, while 82,775 were displaced and have been placed in hundreds of shelters.

More than half of the victims have been buried in mass graves while the others were buried by their families.

A majority of the 8,276 people who have left Palu – a city of 350,000 inhabitants – have done so via its airport that is operating normally, although 200 meters of its runway was damaged.

Meanwhile, the search and rescue operations that will continue until Thursday will focus on recovering bodies beneath the debris and mud in the most affected regions of Balaroa district and Petobo village in Palu and Jono Oge village in Sigi.

According to Sutopo, nearly 5,000 people were buried in Petobo and Balaroa where the national search and rescue agency, Basarnas, has retrieved 20 and 18 bodies, respectively.

The authorities have been able to restore 90 percent of the power supply in the affected area.

The Asian Development Bank on Monday approved a grant of $3 million for immediate humanitarian aid.

The Sulawesi quake and tsunami were the worst to have struck the country since the 2004 tsunami that hit Aceh, in the west of the archipelago, leaving 167,000 people dead.

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