From Amirul Mohd Sajadi
KOTA PALU (Sulawesi), Oct 5 (Bernama) -- An estimated 152 victims are still buried alive in many parts of Palu, Sulawesi which was hit by a 7.5-Richter scale earthquake and tsunami last Friday.
Information and Media Director of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Acmad Ramadan said at the same time, 65,733 homes were destroyed in the disaster.
“So far, we have recovered 1,558 bodies of victims who were mostly buried alive.
“The injured victims numbered 2,549 and some have been transferred to hospitals in other districts for treatment,” he told Malaysian reporters when met in Patebo here today.
Acmad said the efforts of the search-and-rescue teams were affected by the condition of the soil and the wishes of the families to recover the bodies of the victims as intact as possible.
"We will do our best to make sure that all the bodies are buried as intact as possible,” he said.
Acmad said the Indonesian government had not fixed a date to end the search-and-rescue operations.
“There is no termination date for the search. It will be conducted every day,” he said.
Meanwhile, Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brigadier General Ermi Widyatno said the good weather so far has helped the rescue efforts.
“Foreign aid can now enter the three main areas, Sigi, Dongala and Palu... we expect to find more victims.
“I thank the Malaysian government, especially the Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisation (Mapim) for helping us here,” he said.
The Mapim Humanitarian Aid Mission was the first Malaysian team to offer help to the disaster victims in Palu.