Anger among Indonesian quake survivors desperate for supplies

Geraldine Edwards
October 5, 2018

Nearly 200,000 people are in need of urgent help, the United Nations says, among them thousands of children.

New Zealand is providing $1.6 million to help the emergency response to the deadly natural disaster and tsunami in Indonesia that killed at least 840 people.

Rescuers on Sulawesi island raced against the clock and a lack of equipment to save those still trapped in the rubble, with up to 60 people feared to be underneath one Palu hotel alone. "There are still unattended villages there", one resident pleaded on camera in the hope President Widodo would see it.

An estimated 2.4 million people were affected by the disaster, said the disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

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The d‌e‌at‌h toll is expected to climb as thousands more are fe‌ar‌ed to be b‌uri‌ed under the mud after the qua‌ke, The Sun reports. He was due in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday, and would convey condolences in person on behalf of the Government, his office said.

Mass burials have begun on Sulawesi for the victims recovered so far - almost all of them found in the city of Palu. With supplies dwindling, administrator Kasman Lassa said citizens were taking food and other essential items from shops.

"Everyone is hungry and they want to eat after several days of not eating", Mr Lassa said.

He said gasoline and water supplies were being transported to the Sulawesi island, but they were still insufficient for the people affected. For now, many people are having to sleep on the street with limited access to food or vital medications, the BBC reports. "So, on this issue, we can not pressure them to hold much longer". Dead bodies covered by tarps lay in the city's streets, exposed to Indonesia's blistering heat, as rescuers searched rubble for survivors buried in crumpled buildings.

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Elsewhere on the outskirts of Palu, lorries brought 54 bodies to a mass grave dug in sandy soil. (AAP) President Widodo authorised foreign assistance and Australia, the US, China and the United Nations have all offered help.

The Indonesian government on Monday appealed for worldwide aid to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

Officials have said the European Union, United States and China have also offered help.

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