Indonesia quake, tsunami claim 1,234 lives

The confirmed death toll from an earthquake and tsunami on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has risen to 1,234, from 844 as authorities struggled to reach affected areas due to damaged infrastructure,the national disaster agency says.

Media reports indicate that four days after the disaster hit Palu and other parts of Sulawesi island, people have received little help from the government.

Abdullah Sidik, limping with an injured leg, said he was heading for evening prayers when the magnitude 7.5 quake struck just after 6pm on Friday and rushed back home to find his wife and daughters.

“The earth was pushing everything up,” he said. “In that moment, I was flailing around and was hit from behind by a concrete wall. Then I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t move and I lost my wife and daughters.”

“I hope we can get aid from the government. Please pay attention to us. Palu is part of Indonesia. It feels like a dead city,” Sidik said.

“I want to bury my wife and children. Please help me find them inside,” he said.

Some of the dead were taken to a mass grave on Tuesday a day after hundreds were given mass burials.

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