Up to 20 countries helping in tsunami-struck Indonesia

Up to 20 countries helping in tsunami-struck Indonesia

The death toll from an natural disaster and tsunami that hit Indonesia last week continues to rise, as 1,500 people are now reported dead on the island of Sulawesi.

"Places have been damaged by the tsunami along the coast", Nugroho said, but he had no details.

After days of delays, global aid has finally started to arrive in the disaster zone, where the United Nations says nearly 200,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

French rescuers say they've been unable to find the possible sign of life they detected a day earlier under the rubble of a hotel that collapsed in the quake a week ago on Indonesia's Sulawesi island.

Indonesia's top security minister says the government is considering turning some areas of disaster-stricken Sulawesi island into mass graves. The death toll is now above 1,500, but that could rise as central areas of the hard-hit island have not yet been reached.

Catastrophe bonds and the support of International Monetary Fund and World Bank entities could help Indonesia to put in place a funding mechanism that provides liquidity immediately after disaster strike, while the insurance and reinsurance market could help the government protect its own balance-sheet and buffer taxpayers.

Suahasil Nazara, the Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia, said that the country must work to ensure it has the capacity to respond to disaster.

The powerful natural disaster and tsunami that struck Palu and surrounding areas on September 28 left at least 1,649 people dead.

"What is important is we are alive and for that we should be grateful", he said.

A Muslim woman prays during a special prayer for the victims of quake and tsunami at Talise beach in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 5, 2018.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency estimated a series of earlier quakes that hit the resort island of Lombok in July and August had caused damages worth 12 trillion rupiah ($790 million) and killed almost 500 people. The US had provided initial funding, deployed government disaster experts and is working to determine what other help can be given, the US state department said earlier this week. Power has returned to parts of Palu, phone networks are back up and even some markets are open for business.

"Yesterday we had a heart beat and sign of breathing, there were no other movements so it means it was someone who was motionless, confined", said Philippe Besson, president of the International Emergency Firefighters.

He said the government would provide financial assistance through the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management.

The process to deliver aids for refugees and survivors of tsunami faced difficulties as the mainland accesses to Palu and Donggala were clogged by stones rolling down from hills due to aftershocks that made it riskier for aids team to get supplies to Palu.

A quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Related Articles