Death toll from massive earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia jumps to 1,203 as rescuers battle to save scores of people screaming from within the rubble

  • A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday caused a massive tsunami to crash into Sulawesi island on Friday
  • The cities of Palu and Donggala were worse hit as beachgoers were swept away by the enormous waves
  • A government spokesman confirmed Sunday the death toll had risen to 1,203, doubling the last number
  • Access to several towns along the coastline has hampered relief efforts as transport networks are down
  • Criticism has been levelled at the government for initially lifting a tsunami warning after Friday’s quake

The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami that devastated part of the island of Sulawesi has risen to 1,203 – with the total number expected to climb higher still.

The tsunami, which was triggered after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake, ripped through the Pacific Ring of Fire and crashed into the Palu at 500mph, causing widespread destruction into the evening on Friday.

Figures collected by the National Police Headquarters put the number killed at 1,203 people. The death toll is expected to climb even higher. Search and rescue team have struggled to reach cut-off communities feared wiped out by the disaster.

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said access to Donggala, as well as the towns of Sigi and Boutong, is still limited and there are no comprehensive reports from those areas.

Government officials said rescuers could hear screams from within the rubble of several buildings on Saturday evening as they battled through the night and into Sunday to free those trapped.

Samidah, a relative of a victim, cries while gathered outside the collapsed Roa Roa hotel in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi

Samidah, a relative of a victim, cries while gathered outside the collapsed Roa Roa hotel in Palu, Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi

A woman cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

A woman cries as she waits to be evacuated by military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

A man walks inside a damaged area at the Airport in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu in Indonesia today

A man walks inside a damaged area at the Airport in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu in Indonesia today

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station, in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station, in the aftermath of earthquake in Palu

Rescuers try to rescue a 15-year old earthquake victim Nurul Istikharah from her damaged house following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu on Sunday

Rescuers try to rescue a 15-year old earthquake victim Nurul Istikharah from her damaged house following earthquakes and tsunami in Palu on Sunday

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Rescue personnel evacuate earthquake survivor Ida, a food vendor, from the rubble of a collapsed restaurant in Palu

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu today

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu today

Rescue personnel carry the body of an earthquake victim to the compounds of a police hospital in Palu

Rescue personnel carry the body of an earthquake victim to the compounds of a police hospital in Palu

A team of rescuers helping to pull a trapped woman from the mud on Sunday as thousands more are still feared to be trapped under rubble from Friday's earthquake

A team of rescuers helping to pull a trapped woman from the mud on Sunday as thousands more are still feared to be trapped under rubble from Friday’s earthquake

Striking aerial shots show a mosque which has been razed first by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and then the 2 meter high wave on Friday afternoon 

Striking aerial shots show a mosque which has been razed first by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and then the 2 meter high wave on Friday afternoon

A road traffic bridge could be seen completely collapsed along the coastline in the outskirts of Palu as first the earthquake and then the tsunami swept away enormous pieces of the city's infrastructure

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2-L) talking to residents as he visits a devastated area in Palu

A handout photo made available by the Indonesian Presidential Palace showing Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2-L) talking to residents as he visits a devastated area in Palu

An injured man is evacuated on a military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

An injured man is evacuated on a military aircraft following an earthquake and tsunami at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu

In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter

In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter

‘The death is believed to be still increasing since many bodies were still under the wreckage while many have not able to be reached,’ Nugroho said.

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach.

The town of Mamuju was also severely affected but currently impossible to access due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

Meanwhile criticisms have been levelled at the country’s geophysics agency for lifting the tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued, which may have led to confusion and exacerbated the death toll.

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) looking at a ruined house as he visits a devastated area in Palu

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Earthquake victims stuck in a traffic jam gather as they leave Palu on September 30, 2018

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station in Palu today

Relatives look for tsunami and earthquake victims in body bags at a police station in Palu today

Indonesia quake: 832 people confirmed dead according to national agency
Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 832 people had died by Sunday afternoon but that figure later rose to 1,203

Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 832 people had died by Sunday afternoon but that figure later rose to 1,203

Rescuers carry an earthquake survivor at restaurant building damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning

Rescuers carry an earthquake survivor at restaurant building damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning

Indonesian rescuers search for the victims on the a collapsed Roa Roa hotel building in Palu as frantic efforts to save those trapped continued over the weekend

Indonesian rescuers search for the victims on the a collapsed Roa Roa hotel building in Palu as frantic efforts to save those trapped continued over the weekend

Members of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency sift through the rubble of a collapsed building on Sunday in their desperate search for survivors

Members of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency sift through the rubble of a collapsed building on Sunday in their desperate search for survivors

Motorists pass by a half-collapsed shopping mall heavily damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami as darkness falls on Palu on Sunday

Motorists pass by a half-collapsed shopping mall heavily damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami as darkness falls on Palu on Sunday

People carry items looted from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning as water still fills the streets of the coastal city

People carry items looted from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami in Palu on Sunday morning as water still fills the streets of the coastal city

People take gasoline from a truck as the bare essentials are shipped in to the worst affected areas around the city of Palu on Sulawesi island

People take gasoline from a truck as the bare essentials are shipped in to the worst affected areas around the city of Palu on Sulawesi island

Hordes of people could be seen taking items from a damaged shopping mall in downtown Palu on Sunday as supply lines to the island remain down

Hordes of people could be seen taking items from a damaged shopping mall in downtown Palu on Sunday as supply lines to the island remain down

A mannequin lies on the ground amid the wreckage of a destroyed shopping mall in Palu on Sunday as the island struggles to cope with the effects of the devastating quake and tsunami

A mannequin lies on the ground amid the wreckage of a destroyed shopping mall in Palu on Sunday as the island struggles to cope with the effects of the devastating quake and tsunami

Looters take away items from a shopping mall as government agencies struggle to get fresh aid to the affected areas of coastline

Looters take away items from a shopping mall as government agencies struggle to get fresh aid to the affected areas of coastline

The number of casualties was no doubt increased by the fact that hundreds of people had descended on Palu’s beach for a festival to celebrate the city’s anniversary, due to start Friday night.

TV footage showed images of destroyed houses in Donggala and areas that were once land now inundated with water. Aerial video also showed the battered coastline surrounding Palu.

Looters were stealing from a badly damaged shopping centre in Palu that was not being guarded. They did not appear to be concerned about their safety, despite ongoing aftershocks and the structure’s questionable stability.

Residents were also seen returning to their destroyed homes, picking through waterlogged belongings, trying to salvage anything they could find.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second right, talks with tsunami survivors in Palu on Sunday as he flew into Sulawesi to oversee relief efforts

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, second right, talks with tsunami survivors in Palu on Sunday as he flew into Sulawesi to oversee relief efforts

President Joko Widodo stands in front of the ruins of a house in Palu on Sunday as he jetted in to inspect the damage for himself

President Joko Widodo stands in front of the ruins of a house in Palu on Sunday as he jetted in to inspect the damage for himself

Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter in Palu as thousands have been left homeless by the disaster

Joko Widodo, left, talks with tsunami survivors in a temporary shelter in Palu as thousands have been left homeless by the disaster

People sifting through the rubble on Sunday after the earthquake razed several thousand of Palu's most vulnerable buildings to the ground on Friday

People sifting through the rubble on Sunday after the earthquake razed several thousand of Palu’s most vulnerable buildings to the ground on Friday

Thousands of people queue for gasoline in the streets of Palu following the disaster as many of the cars and motorbikes being used by civilians to adjust to the crisis have run out of fuel

Thousands of people queue for gasoline in the streets of Palu following the disaster as many of the cars and motorbikes being used by civilians to adjust to the crisis have run out of fuel

The damage outside a shopping mall in central Palu where dozens of motorbikes and cars have been submerged by the flooding from Friday's tsunami

The damage outside a shopping mall in central Palu where dozens of motorbikes and cars have been submerged by the flooding from Friday’s tsunami

Two men push a shopping trolley filled with goods away from the carcass of a destroyed shopping mall as people with motorbikes lined up in the streets to take away the looted goods on Sunday

Two men push a shopping trolley filled with goods away from the carcass of a destroyed shopping mall as people with motorbikes lined up in the streets to take away the looted goods on Sunday

Terrifying footage shows people fleeing in panic as giant tsunami wave smashes mosque in Indonesian coastal city

Horrific video footage uploaded to social media has revealed the extensive damage caused by a tsunami.

A dramatic video filmed from the top floor of a parking ramp spiral in Palu and posted on Twitter, showed a wall of whitewater crashing into houses along the shoreline, scattering shipping containers and almost flattening a large mosque.

People can be seen fleeing in panic as the tsunami devastates the surrounding area which, just moments before, had a car driving in it.

The impact of the disaster and the number of casualties is though to have been worsened by the fact that hundreds of people had descended on Palu’s beach for a festival to celebrate the city’s anniversary.

One clip even showed a baby being treated as the people grimly tried to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

Another gives a view of the impact of the tsunami from the position of a fishing boat, with the fishermen heard praying as they take in the extent of the devastation.

It’s clear that thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris.

The survivors were to be evacuated to the Sulawesi city of Makassar in the island’s far south.

It’s the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the ‘Ring of Fire,’ an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

Looters were stealing from the badly damaged shopping mall, which was not being guarded Sunday. They did not appear to be concerned about their safety, despite ongoing aftershocks and the structure’s questionable stability.

Residents were also seen returning to their destroyed homes, picking through waterlogged belongings, trying to salvage anything they could find.

A family sleeps in front of a restaurant in Palu on Sunday as thousands of people in the coastal city have been left homeless by the natural disaster

A family sleeps in front of a restaurant in Palu on Sunday as thousands of people in the coastal city have been left homeless by the natural disaster

People view the damage at the beach hit by tsunami as a road can be seen to be completely collapsed into the floodwater around the shore at Palu

People view the damage at the beach hit by tsunami as a road can be seen to be completely collapsed into the floodwater around the shore at Palu

Indonesian Air Force members stand in line as they prepare to board a military plane on its way to join emergency efforts in the coastal disaster area

Indonesian Air Force members stand in line as they prepare to board a military plane on its way to join emergency efforts in the coastal disaster area

Relief efforts are struggling to get through to most areas because of damage to airports, roads and rails with local rescuers in Sulawesi desperate for more support

Relief efforts are struggling to get through to most areas because of damage to airports, roads and rails with local rescuers in Sulawesi desperate for more support

Government officials said they expected the death toll to rise on Sunday despite it doubling to 832 over the weekend as more and more bodies are found in the rubble of destroyed buildings

Government officials said they expected the death toll to rise on Sunday despite it doubling to 832 over the weekend as more and more bodies are found in the rubble of destroyed buildings

Indonesian workers load donations into a military transport aircraft as those in affected areas are lacking the most basic necessities to survive

Indonesian workers load donations into a military transport aircraft as those in affected areas are lacking the most basic necessities to survive

A woman carries a meager ration of fuel away from a filling station after queuing for hours to get a supply in crisis-racked Palu, Indonesia on Sunday

A woman carries a meager ration of fuel away from a filling station after queuing for hours to get a supply in crisis-racked Palu, Indonesia on Sunday

The collapsed dome of a mosque in Palu which was brought down in the huge earthquake on Friday as some of the city's most notable landmarks fell victim to the tremors

The collapsed dome of a mosque in Palu which was brought down in the huge earthquake on Friday as some of the city’s most notable landmarks fell victim to the tremors

Residents make their way along a street full of debris, including the wreckage of a shipping container. Power lines have come down and in the background is a mosque which was a badly damaged by the 10ft waves 

Residents make their way along a street full of debris, including the wreckage of a shipping container. Power lines have come down and in the background is a mosque which was a badly damaged by the 10ft waves

Palu city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet

Palu city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet

Nugroho described the damage as 'extensive' with thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed, a bridge washed away and the main highway to Palu cut due to a landslide 

Nugroho described the damage as ‘extensive’ with thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed, a bridge washed away and the main highway to Palu cut due to a landslide

Some people climbed trees to escape the tsunami and survived the towering waves caused by the two earthquakes: the first, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit the densely populated region on Friday morning, and was quickly followed by even fiercer 7.5 magnitude tremors

Some people climbed trees to escape the tsunami and survived the towering waves caused by the two earthquakes: the first, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit the densely populated region on Friday morning, and was quickly followed by even fiercer 7.5 magnitude tremors

A woman cries as people begin to realise the extent of the damage and the number of casualties after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu. Thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris

A woman cries as people begin to realise the extent of the damage and the number of casualties after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu. Thousands of buildings have been damaged, with some entirely swept away or demolished, leaving scores of families missing among the debris

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned early on of reports showing that 'victims died in the rubble of a collapsed building'

Many of those killed in Palu were swept away by giant waves more than 10ft high as they played on the beach in the scenic tourist town. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned early on of reports showing that ‘victims died in the rubble of a collapsed building’

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach. 

Fears are mounting for the the fishing town of Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre of the quake, but which rescuers have not been able to reach.

Indonesian media said Sunday that 832 people had died in Palu City, on the the Indonesian island of Sulawesi after two earthquakes in quick succession caused a tsunami that sent locals fleeing their homes.

Indonesian media said Sunday that 832 people had died in Palu City, on the the Indonesian island of Sulawesi after two earthquakes in quick succession caused a tsunami that sent locals fleeing their homes. (Click to Source)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s