CLOSINGS: View Closings

Indonesia tsunami and earthquake: Rescuers race to aid victims as death toll passes 840

Mass graves were dug Monday as Indonesian authorities rushed to bury hundreds of people killed by an ...

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 2:40 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 2:40 PM

Mass graves were dug Monday as Indonesian authorities rushed to bury hundreds of people killed by an earthquake and tsunami that cracked streets, tore down buildings and washed away homes on the island of Sulawesi.

Three days after the disaster, the streets of the provincial capital Palu were still covered in debris and bodies thrown about by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that triggered tsunami waves up to three-meters-high (10 feet).

Accidents, disasters and safety

Asia

Continents and regions

Earthquakes

Indonesia

Joko Widodo

Natural disasters

Political Figures - Intl

Rescue operations

Southeast Asia

Tsunamis

Air transportation

Airports

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Transportation and warehousing

Disaster relief

International assistance

International relations

International relations and national security

East Asia

South Korea

Deaths and fatalities

Society

Authorities raised the toll again Monday to 844 dead, and warned that more bodies were likely to be found as heavy equipment moved in to clear the rubble.

Conditions in the devastated area are grim, with food and water supplies running low and few buildings sturdy enough to offer safety from any aftershocks.

As they waited for aid Sunday, survivors took matters into their own hands, entering shops and wheeling away trolleys filled with food and water. At a gas station Monday, a CNN crew saw people opening up a tank from under the ground and using ladles to scoop up fuel.

Hundreds rushed to the airport hoping to catch one of the few flights out of the area. One man told CNN Monday he had been waiting there two days. A woman said she feared for her and her baby's safety due as residents raided shops for food and water.

In total, an estimated 2.4 million people were affected by the disaster, Indonesian Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Some 600 people were hospitalized and more than 48,000 have been displaced.

In the chaos after the quake, more than 1,000 inmates from five prisons had fled, according to CNN Indonesia. Authorities have urged them to return within one week.

Weekend's horrors

The earthquakes were just the start of the horror for residents of Palu and surrounding areas. The largest tremor triggered a tsunami that sent waves of "about three meters high" to the beaches of Palu and Donggala.

Homes, business and vehicles along the coast were washed away by the violent waves. Roads and bridges were destroyed.

Mia, 40, was at the Ramayana shopping mall in Palu with her daughters when the ground started shaking.

"I just finished my shopping and went to the cashier, suddenly everything got dark and the walls started falling around us, it was horrible," said Mia, who like many Indonesians only goes by one name. She said she ran down a broken escalator with her daughters. They made it out alive, but not all were so lucky.

Across the region, first responders are continuing to dig through the rubble, sometimes by hand, in the hopes of finding survivors who were trapped by the massive quake or the destructive tsunami that followed.

In the residential area of Patobo, there are fears that many could have been killed when 744 homes were buried in mud, Nugroho said Monday.

In Palu, workers scrambled to rescue about 50 people trapped beneath the debris of the Roa Roa hotel.

Aerial images showed the eight-floor building completely collapsed, and video posted by Nugroho to Twitter showed orange-clad responders carrying an individual on a stretcher through the rubble.

One of the guests at the hotel was a 39-year-old South Korean national, according to the South Korean embassy in Indonesia. The man had been in the region for a paragliding competition.

Only two foreigners, a Malaysian and the South Korean national, are still unaccounted for, Nugroho said. Three French nationals previously missing have been found. The Indonesian government has evacuated 114 foreign nationals.

As of Sunday, there were no reports of US citizens affected by the quake, the US Embassy in Jakarta told CNN.

Aid efforts

Disaster officials say the inability to access the worst-affected areas has hampered their efforts, as they were unable to quickly deliver aid and heavy machinery used to rescue survivors. The Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu was closed for 24 hours after the tsunami but has since reopened to limited flights.

Aid has trickled into the city of Palu, but first responders have only recently reached the Donggala regency, home to more than 300,000 people. They were closest to the epicenter of the largest, magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck Friday, before the tsunami washed into the long, narrow bay, past the town of Donggala and into Palu.

"The Indonesian Red Cross is racing to help survivors, but we don't know what they'll find there," said Jan Gelfand, who heads the International Red Cross delegation in Indonesia Sunday. "I don't think we've quite seen the worst of things yet."

Priority will be given to evacuating survivors and allowing aid workers to bring in food and fresh water, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who visited the disaster site on Sunday.

Widodo has authorized the country to request international aid relief.

The European Union and South Korea have offered $1.7 million and $1 million respectively, while the Australian government has said it's working with Indonesia to identify options for assistance.

'Are you ready?'

Bambang Soesatyo, speaker of the People's Representative Council and a member of Golkar Party, told reporters Sunday the government needs to increase the scale of relief operations in the affected area.

Many people had to sleep on the side of the road and patients were treated in open spaces. Residents are still worried about aftershocks and are afraid to return home, said Soesatyo.

Hundreds of families are already mourning the loss of their loved ones, including an air traffic controller who's been hailed as a hero.

Anthonius Gunawan Agung, 21, died in the hospital after he jumped off the traffic control tower at the Palu airport when he thought the tower was collapsing.

He stayed behind to make sure a passenger airplane safely took off, according to AirNav Indonesia, the agency that oversees aircraft navigation.

The current and former mayor of Palu are also among the dead, according to the the Red Cross.

An early tsunami warning had been issued by the Indonesian meteorological agency, but was later lifted after the agency ascertained that the water had receded.

The quakes come weeks after a trio of earthquakes hit several islands in the South Pacific and Indonesia, including Lombok, which is still recovering from the effects of an August 5 earthquake that killed more than 430 people.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295001

Reported Deaths: 3535
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin624331107
Ramsey26238493
Anoka20851224
Dakota20527189
Stearns13245106
Washington13220111
St. Louis8141108
Scott798154
Wright720338
Olmsted639934
Sherburne552241
Clay473356
Carver443213
Blue Earth395813
Rice393335
Kandiyohi378719
Crow Wing344731
Nobles301429
Chisago29799
Otter Tail288820
Benton285847
Winona266629
Mower248523
Douglas242235
Polk238223
Morrison224027
Lyon206711
Beltrami202517
McLeod198511
Becker194015
Goodhue190628
Steele18336
Itasca179123
Isanti179016
Todd173912
Carlton170414
Nicollet154925
Freeborn14795
Mille Lacs145131
Le Sueur141111
Waseca135911
Cass133310
Brown131215
Pine12788
Meeker11638
Roseau11074
Hubbard107523
Martin105520
Wabasha9941
Redwood87518
Dodge8230
Chippewa8157
Watonwan8104
Cottonwood7942
Renville77322
Sibley7564
Wadena7476
Aitkin71729
Rock7149
Pipestone69618
Houston6534
Fillmore6510
Yellow Medicine61511
Pennington6137
Murray5623
Kanabec55713
Swift5448
Faribault5251
Pope5071
Clearwater4817
Stevens4813
Jackson4581
Marshall4508
Lake3916
Unassigned38659
Koochiching3675
Wilkin3605
Lac qui Parle3513
Lincoln3331
Norman3307
Big Stone2962
Mahnomen2834
Grant2566
Red Lake2033
Kittson2027
Traverse1391
Lake of the Woods941
Cook630

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 223783

Reported Deaths: 2330
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33166333
Linn13991164
Scott1100384
Black Hawk10795134
Woodbury10255124
Johnson940036
Dubuque913491
Story674921
Dallas629057
Pottawattamie617069
Sioux366725
Webster357033
Cerro Gordo349644
Marshall346345
Clinton322840
Buena Vista302214
Muscatine282668
Des Moines282419
Warren276411
Plymouth270641
Wapello251571
Jones228413
Jasper214643
Marion202919
Lee199416
Carroll196422
Bremer192612
Henry18107
Crawford174115
Benton167418
Tama153340
Jackson143013
Delaware141021
Washington138214
Dickinson135810
Boone134811
Mahaska126127
Wright12226
Buchanan115410
Clay11504
Hardin114010
Page11144
Hamilton11009
Clayton10875
Harrison106629
Cedar106213
Calhoun10607
Kossuth10426
Floyd103916
Mills10297
Fayette102210
Lyon10188
Butler9916
Poweshiek98213
Winneshiek95812
Iowa93012
Winnebago91323
Hancock8547
Louisa84916
Grundy84611
Chickasaw8424
Sac8407
Cherokee8214
Cass80222
Allamakee79011
Appanoose77910
Mitchell7794
Humboldt7635
Shelby76111
Union7576
Emmet74924
Guthrie74115
Franklin73421
Jefferson7062
Madison6764
Palo Alto6474
Unassigned6470
Keokuk5777
Pocahontas5572
Howard5489
Greene5170
Osceola5171
Ida48113
Clarke4774
Taylor4603
Davis4548
Montgomery45011
Monroe43912
Adair4298
Monona4272
Fremont3553
Van Buren3545
Worth3540
Lucas3226
Decatur3160
Audubon2952
Wayne2957
Ringgold2082
Adams1652
Rochester
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 33°
Mason City
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 40°
Albert Lea
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 41°
Austin
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Charles City
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 43°
A Sunny and Mild Saturday Expected
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sidelined in quarantine: Coach Fennelly talks about his experience away from the game

Image

Here Comes Santa Claus Drive-Thru

Image

Here Comes Santa Claus Drive-Thru

Image

Santa Claus Visits Rochester to Lead Drive-Thru Parade

Image

Aaron's Friday Evening Forecast

Image

Increased demand for real Christmas trees

Image

Santa visits Rochester for drive-thru parade

Image

Salvation Army needs bell ringers

Image

Search for man stalking women

Image

Downtown Alliance for shopping locally

Community Events