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Two thousand victims in Palu

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Two thousand victims in Palu

Another earthquake struck Palu today, less
than two weeks after the powerful earthquake that devastated the Sulawesi
Island city and the ensuing tsunami on 28 September. Measuring 5.2 on the
Richter scale, this latest earthquake, local authorities said, did not claim
any lives. Civil protection sources reported its epicentre as being located
five kilometres north-east of Sulawesi. Meanwhile, the official death toll from
the 7.4 earthquake and the tsunami of 28 September has risen to almost 2,000,
although local authorities fear for hundreds, if not thousands, who are still
buried under the rubble in several neighbourhoods of Palu and other areas of
the island that have not yet been reached by rescue workers.

According to Willem Rampangilei, Head of
Indonesia”€™s National Disaster Agency, up to 5,000 people could be buried under
the mud in the nearby villages of Balaroa and Petobo, where the earthquake
caused the rare phenomenon of “€œsoil liquefaction”€, resulting in many homes being swallowed into
the ground and turning the area into a sea of mud. It is becoming increasingly
more difficult for rescue workers to use heavy machinery to recover the bodies
of the victims. The situation is worsening daily as food and clean water become
scarce and most of the 200,0000 homeless are in desperate need of aid.


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