Death toll from Indonesia’s quakes, tsunami climbs to 1,407


PALU/JAKARTA-The death toll from Indonesia’s multiple earthquakes and an ensuing tsunami jumped to 1,407 on Wednesday, the country’s disaster management agency said. Most of the dead were recovered in Palu, the provincial capital.

Search and rescue operations are underway with more rescuers and equipment joining the mission, spokesman of the national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Soldiers, police, government personnel and volunteers flocked in the catastrophe-rattled areas to join a total of 6,399 rescuers already on the spot, and are rushing to retrieve victims under the ruins, he said.

The quakes that triggered a tsunami destroyed 2,403 houses, according to a satellite image, while a total of 362 aftershocks with 12 of them felt occurred after the main shock, said Sutopo. The natural disaster forced a total of 70,821 people to flee their homes and take shelter in camps or under tarpaulins in 141 spots. So far, not all of the basic needs has been provided, he said.(Xinhua)…[+]