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Aid Rolling Into Hard-Hit Indonesia City

Aid Rolling Into Hard-Hit Indonesia City PALU, INDONESIA â€" Search teams pulled bodies from obliterated neighborhoods in the earthqua...

Aid Rolling Into Hard-Hit Indonesia City

PALU, INDONESIA â€"

Search teams pulled bodies from obliterated neighborhoods in the earthquake and tsunami stricken Indonesian city of Palu on Saturday as more international aid arrived and humanitarian workers fanned out in the countryside.

Indonesia’s disaster agency said the death toll had climbed to 1,649, with at least 265 people still missing, though it said that number could be higher.

A Japanese Self Defense Force plane landed at Palu’s airport Saturday morning. Soldiers unloaded tons of supplies including medicines and small portable generators in boxes emblazoned with the Japanese flag and the words “From the People of Japan.”

The dead were still being recovered more than a week after the double disaster. Eight victims in black body bags of the national search and rescue agency were arranged in a row at the crumpled Palu neighborhood of Balaroa, destined for a mass grave.

Residents take a bath amid remains of toppled homes and structures at the earthquake and tsunami-hit Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 5, 2018.
Residents take a bath amid remains of toppled homes and structures at the earthquake and tsunami-hit Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 5, 2018.

Volunteers arrive

In the dusty one-road village of Pewunu, excited children shouted “Red Cross! Red Cross!” as one of its medical teams arrived and set up a makeshift clinic in a field where evacuees were sleeping under tarps. One villager said they’d survived by ransacking shops.

Volunteers laid out a big white tarp on a stage in front of the village office, plopped a green desk on it, and interviewed people about their needs as dozens milled around.

Doctors performed medical checks on elderly residen ts who’d emerged from tents and climbed the stage’s stairs with canes or others supporting them.

People living in the camp said two residents had died in collapsing houses in the village. They had clean water and noodles but not much else.

“There were supplies but these were looted. All along the roads towards here, they were looted by outsiders,” said Bahamid Fawzi.

“All this while in this crisis, we don’t have water, we don’t have food. After that we started ransacking the stores and the shops. Not because we’re thieves but because we really needed it,” he said. “There’s no water, no food, like it or not we had to do it.”

Indonesian and Japanese military personnel unload relief aid from a Japan Air Force cargo plane at the Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri airport in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 6, 2018.
Indonesian and Japanese military personnel unload relief aid from a Japan Air Force cargo plane at the Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri airport in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 6, 2018.

​International help

The Sept. 28 earthquake and tsunami swept away buildings along miles (kilometers) of coastline and knocked out power and communications for several days.

In a rare move, Indonesia’s government appealed for international help to cope with the tragedy unfolding in remote central Sulawesi.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says $50.5 million is required to deliver “immediate, life-saving” aid.

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    Associated Press

Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia

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