Death toll from Indonesia’s quake, tsunami increases to 1,234
“As of 1:00 p.m. there are 1,234 dead,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the national disaster agency spokesperson.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 28 triggered tsunami waves as high as six metres (20 feet), which swept ashore at the small city of Palu, on the west coast of Sulawesi.
Rescuers have yet to reach many affected areas leading to fears the death toll could rise again.
The bodies of dozens of students have been pulled from their landslide-swamped church in Sulawesi, officials said on Oct. 2, as an international effort to help nearly 200,000 increasingly desperate Indonesian quake-tsunami victims ground into gear.
Meanwhile, Indonesian police on Oct. 2 said they have arrested dozens of people for looting.
Survivors have raided shops for water, food and other goods, Agence France-Presse has reported.
“On the first and second day clearly no shops were open. People were hungry. There were people in dire need. That’s not a problem,” said deputy national police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto.
“But after day two, the food supply started to come in, it only needed to be distributed.”
However Sukmanto said that people grabbing food would still be tolerated.
“If they take laptops, if they take money etc., we are going to act,” Sukmanto said.
“We have detained 35 people,” he added.