More than 5,000 people now feared missing

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Officials in Indonesia say more than 5,000 people are feared missing after last month’s deadly earthquake and tsunami.

The grim estimate came as officials confirmed that 1,763 bodies have now been recovered from hard-hit areas.

Entire neighbourhoods disappeared in the twin disaster and were buried under mountains of mud and wreckage, making it difficult to know exactly how many people are missing.

Officials are trying to confirm the number of people missing in several villages which were destroyed, Indonesia’s disaster agency said.

Houses were sucked deep into mud, burying occupants.

Devastation caused after soil was liquidised by the earthquake and tsunami  More than 5,000 people now feared missing skynews indonesia earthquake 4445971
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Devastation caused after soil was liquidised by the earthquake and tsunami

Central Sulawesi governor Loki Djanggola said monuments may be built in areas which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims buried there.

While hundreds of bodies are believed to be interred, officials say it is not safe to use heavy equipment in areas where loose soil was turned into mud.

It is also feared that decomposing bodies could spread disease.

Survivors from the villages of Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge are expected to be relocated.

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