The death toll from last week's earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi has risen to 1,407, officials said on Wednesday (03/10). (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Death Toll in C. Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami Rises to More Than 1,400

BY :SHEANY

OCTOBER 03, 2018

Jakarta. The death toll from last week's earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi has risen to 1,407, officials said on Wednesday (03/10).

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said the number of victims is still expected to rise, as search and rescue teams now have gained access to all the affected areas, including Donggala, Parigi Moutong and Sigi.

"Search and rescue teams continue to look for victims and they are now able to enter more affected areas … communication is much better, though not all areas are covered," Sutopo said at a press conference in Jakarta.

However, the agency has yet to determine the number of victims in Petobo, a suburb of Palu, where hundreds of houses were destroyed due to soil liquefaction.

The number of seriously injured meanwhile rose to 2,549, while 113 are reported missing and 70,821 have been left homeless.

Sutopo acknowledged that the basic needs of the displaced have yet to be met.

The agency said it believes 152 people are still trapped under rubble, while nearly 66,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in the twin disasters.

The spokesman said the bodies of 519 victims have been buried as of Wednesday morning.

The BNPB also updated the number of foreigners who were in Central Sulawesi when the disaster struck to 120, clarifying that some entries were duplicated in a previous report. Two – one from Belgium and another from South Korea – are still missing.

Central Sulawesi is still in urgent need of fuel, food and clean water, as well as field hospitals and tents.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has so far recorded 362 aftershocks, 12 of which could be felt.

Sutopo said the aftershocks show reduced intensity and that the downward trend would likely continue.

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