LAST DAY | Rescue workers to end search for Sulawesi quake, tsunami victims

2 months ago

OCTOBER 11, 2018 (Reuters) — Rescue workers scoured the rubble of devastated communities on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Thursday, the last day of the search for victims of a 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people two weeks ago.

If any reminder were needed of Indonesia’s treacherous tectonics, a magnitude 6 quake struck off Indonesia’s Java and Bali islands early on Thursday, killing three people in Java, damaging buildings and sparking panic.

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are being held this week on Bali and attended by more than 19,000 delegates and other guests, including ministers, central bank heads and some country leaders.

On the west coast of Sulawesi, hundreds of kilometres northeast of Bali, the official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the seaside city of Palu on Sept. 28 stood at 2,045.

 

Search teams look for victims in the earthquake and liquefaction affected Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
Search teams look for victims in the earthquake and liquefaction affected Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

 

Search teams look for victims in the earthquake and liquefaction affected Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
Search teams look for victims in the earthquake and liquefaction affected Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

 

Some 10,000 rescuers toiled for a final day as relatives of the missing clung to their last hopes that the bodies of their loved ones could be found and given a proper burial.

“I don’t have any tears left, all I want is to find them,” said Ahmad, 43, a farmer who was waiting near a pile of debris that used to be home in Palu’s Balaroa neighbourhood.

His wife and two daughters are missing in the ruins.

Balaroa and other Palu neighbourhoods were devastated by liquefaction, which happens when a quake shakes soft, damp soil, turning it into a viscous, roiling liquid.

Ahmad’s third daughter was badly injured and has been taken to the city of Makassar for treatment.

“She’s all I have left. Everything I own, everyone else, is gone,” he said.