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Disaster relief efforts ramp up after Indonesia quake

Disaster relief efforts ramp up after Indonesia quake”

The twin disasters struck Palu and surrounding districts in Central Sulawesi province on September 28.

Officials fear at least 5,000 people may still be missing in Indonesia following a deadly quake and tsunami that killed 1,763 people and devastated the northern island of Sulawesi.

Officials said it was still unsafe to use heavy machinery in some areas where soil had loosened and collapsed after the quake in a process known as liquefaction. Figures for more remote areas, some only just re-connected to the outside world by road, are only trickling in. Food and clean water remain in short supply, and many are dependent entirely on handouts to survive.

In 2004, an natural disaster off Sumatra triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

More bodies were unearthed from the earthquake-and-tsunami-ravaged Indonesian city of Palu on Saturday, as authorities move closer to calling off the search for the dead trapped under flattened communities and declaring them mass graves.

In the most badly affected places, however, access is still a significant obstacle, said Paul Dillon, spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) "Part of the problem is that the areas that are closest to the tsunami, where the tsunami hit hardest, are literally buried in mud".

The national disaster agency says 1,700 homes in one neighbourhood alone were swallowed up and hundreds of people killed.

Debris would be cleared and areas hit by liquefaction would be turned into parks and sports venues.

A plan to relocate communities is being drawn up, the agency said.

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"We still don't know the fate of the clinic doctors, nurses and technicians who usually staff the clinic", the organisation said in a statement. "But we must start again soon to keep their spirits up and so they don't fall behind", he said. No-one has been found alive since the third day of the search.

"I want to think positively; I hope they are OK", said Muhamad Islam Bintang Lima, dressed in the school uniform of white shirt and navy blue pants.

"I'm still waiting for the Ministry of Education to give us instructions on when to begin classes".

"I want school to start as soon as possible so I can find out how my friends are doing", said Muhamad Islam Bintang Lima, dressed in the school uniform of white shirt and navy blue pants.

Numerous dead were buried in mass graves because of the overwhelming volume of victims.

The quake triggered tsunami waves that reached six meters.

Rescuers picking through the grim aftermath of Indonesia's quake-tsunami issued a fresh public health warning Saturday as more decaying corpses were unearthed from beneath the ruined city of Palu.

The neighbourhood of Petobo, in the south of the city of Palu, where his sister, Husnul Hidayat, lived with her daughter, Aisah, was wiped out. Many of lie buried in the mud.



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