New Delhi: The death toll due to tsunami waves triggered by a massive earthquake crashed into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi rose to 832 on Sunday, said an official. In the morning it was reported that 400 people were killed and many swept away. Also Read - ‘We Have Survived 2004 Tsunami and Chennai Floods’: Lakshmipathy Balaji Confident About India Fighting COVID-19
The toll was confirmed by agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho who has estimated that 2.4 million people were impacted by Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake. Survivors walked through floodwater and piles of debris on Sunday. Also Read - Indonesian Man Dresses Up as Spider-Man To Clean Up Plastic Waste, Urges Others to Do the Same
A shopping mall turned into rubble and the large dome of a mosque collapsed in the coastal city of Palu, home of 350,000 people. Hundreds were badly injured and at least 17,000 people were left homeless, Nugroho said. Also Read - Watch | Video of Man Trying to Save Liquor Bottles During Earthquake Goes Viral
The lack of heavy equipment and personnel has slowed down rescue efforts in Palu, where workers were scrambling to rescue about 50 people trapped beneath the debris of a collapsed hotel. Electricity and communications have been cut off and roads that are severely damaged or blocked by landslides are making it difficult to assess the damage, Nugroho said.
Many people are expected to be trapped under the rubbles of the building. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake, which struck the island, triggered tsunami waves.
Thousands of homes, hospitals hotels, and shopping malls have been destroyed. Notably, the two cities –Palu and Donggala are home to more than 600,000 people. The country’s military had started sending cargo planes of relief aid from the capital.
The earthquake hit just off central Sulawesi at a depth of 10 km on Friday, the US Geological Survey had said. A tsunami warning was issued but lifted within the hour. A magnitude-6.1 quake earlier on Friday in the same region killed at least one person and led to the collapse of a number of buildings.
The disaster followed on from the earthquakes and aftershocks on Lombok island where 557 people died and nearly 400,000 were displaced between July 29 and August 19. The country’s deadliest earthquake with a magnitude of around 9.1 struck off the tip of Sumatra island in 2014, triggering a tsunami that killed nearly 280,000 people in Indonesia and other Indian Ocean nations.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity, where some 7,000 earthquakes, mostly moderate, are recorded each year.
(With agency inputs)