Dhaka, Sunday, 16 June 2019
Bangla Insider

Desperate efforts to find survivors

Published on : 02 October 2018, 12:36 PM
Desperate efforts to find survivors


Today is the fourth day after the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian city of Palu on Friday, a clearer picture of the large-scale damage caused by the disaster in the city and its surroundings begins to emerge.

844 casualties have been confirmed so far, but this figure is expected to rise dramatically as it is gaining access to more remote areas.

The authorities announced that they would begin to bury the victims in mass graves, to avoid the spread of diseases.

It is believed that there are still dozens of people alive trapped in the rubble.

In Palu, rescuers await the arrival of heavy machinery to search among the ruins of a hotel and a shopping center that they have not yet been able to enter.

‘Communication is limited, heavy machinery is limited... Aid is not enough for the number of buildings that collapsed,’ said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the National Agency for Disaster Mitigation.

Videos show people running and screaming when waves of 6 meters high reach the beach, destroying everything in its path.

Meanwhile, Indonesia`s Justice Minister reported that 1,200 prisoners escaped from three different detention centers in the Celebes region, after the earthquake and tsunami.

Blocked roads, a damaged airport and the breakdown of communication systems have complicated the task of bringing aid to the affected areas, and of establishing contact with the more remote regions.

"We do not know with certainty what the impact was," Nugroho explains.

Local media reports that cell phone signals have been detected under the rubble of the Palu shopping center and that screams have been heard from inside the Roa Roa Hotel ruins.

A volunteer told that three people were rescued from the hotel, but that there may be more than 50 people trapped.

"At various times we hear voices, including that of a child," said the volunteer Thalib Bawano.

"They asked for help, but they are still there. We motivate them to not lose heart because they are trapped between life and death. "

"We gave them water and food but that was not what they wanted. They wanted to leave. "

"`We want to go out, go out, go out. Help! Help!", they shouted.

"That`s what we heard. Others just hit. "

Since the hospitals are damaged, the injured are being assisted outdoors. At least a military field hospital has been opened.

The army has taken control of the airport to coordinate the flights that bring help and those that move injured and evacuated.

Bangla Insider/ZRM