Jakarta: The death toll from the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Sulawesi Island has mounted to 1,649, Indonesian authorities said. Among the victims, 1,413 were from Palu city, the hardest-hit in twin disasters, a national disaster spokesperson informed IANS. “Most of the victims were found in Palu and they were hit by tsunami, particularly in the coastal areas near Talise beach,” the spokesperson asserted. Also Read - 34 Killed, Hundreds Injured After Earthquake of 6.2 Magnitude Rocks Indonesia's Sulawesi Islands
The remaining deaths were reported in the districts of Donggala, Sigi, Parigi Moutong and Pasang Kayu. Assistance was being provided by local authorities and non-governmental organisations in Donggala and other cut off areas such as Sigi, Red Cross spokesperson Iris Van Deinse said. Work on restoring the power supply to affected areas was ongoing. Also Read - Black Box of Crashed Indonesian Plane Retrieved From Jakarata Gulf Waters
The quakes and the tsunami also left 2,549 people injured, with 265 people still missing. The number of people taking shelter in makeshift tents stands at 62,369 now, the spokesperson said. In Palu, banks and businesses reopened and the chaos surrounding the distribution of food, water and gasoline during the initial aftermath of the tragedy, had ended. Also Read - Indonesia Plane Crash: Body Parts Found Off Jakarta Coast, Say Investigators
Bodies were still being removed from the other worst affected areas, such as the village of Petobo — about 7 km southeast of Palu — and Balaroa, where NGO workers estimated that over 1,000 people could still be buried.
Meanwhile, relief aid has started arriving in the more remote areas of Sulawesi island in Indonesia. On Friday, the Red Cross distributed tarpaulins to 1,000 families in Donggala and Balaroa, one of the worst affected parts of Palu, the provincial capital, and where Red Cross has seven operating water trucks, Van Deinse added.
(With IANS inputs)