1,000 earthquake and tsunami victims still missing in Indonesia

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1,000 earthquake and tsunami victims still missing in Indonesia skynews indonesia sulawesi 4440513

About 1,000 people are still missing in three areas after the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, Sky News has learned.

The number of those still unaccounted for is an estimate by the national disaster agency and is made up of those believed to be missing from the areas of Petobo, Balaroa and Sigi, neighbourhoods in the hard-hit city of Palu.

A spokesman said that most victims in Petobo are in flattened homes buried under at least three metres of mud that has now solidified.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said: “The liquefaction damage is unprecedented in Indonesia, high seismic activity.”

It comes as the number of dead rose to 1,424.

Thousands more are believed to be missing from other areas, with people trapped under rubble or mud due to the process of liquefaction which sees the earth loosen due to the earthquake then turn into what looks like a heaving liquid.

The 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi island on Friday and was followed by a tsunami as high as 6m (20ft) which destroyed homes and left hundreds of thousands desperate for food and water.

Six days after disaster struck survivors are still begging for handouts and loot shops as aid has been slow to get to many areas.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 14 UK aid charities, has launched an appeal to raise money for survivors.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said the charities and local partners were working with Indonesian authorities “to get aid to those who urgently need it, as well as helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days”.

“There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, food, medical care and shelter,” said Mr Saeed.

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