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More than 60,000 displaced after quakes, tsunami strike Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province

More than 60,000 displaced after quakes, tsunami strike Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province

Powerful and shallow under-earth quakes of 6.0, 7.4 and 6.1 magnitude followed by a tsunami devastated the province of Central Sulawesi with the hardest-hit area in Palu, the provincial capital and Donggala district. About 12 people have been recovered from the ruins of the hotel, three of them alive.

Now the group will reconvene to find ways to help victims of this latest disaster recover, too.

Indonesian Red Cross officials told the BBC that 34 Indonesian students were among those killed after their bodies were found under a church buried by a mudslide.

Almost 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Palu alone, Mr Nugroho said, and hospitals were overwhelmed.

President Joko Widodo addressed a government meeting to coordinate disaster recovery efforts and directed the national search and rescue agency to dispatch more police officers and soldiers into the affected areas.

Nigel Timmins, Oxfam's humanitarian director, said it could take weeks to realise the full extent of the disaster.

In Donggala, a region north of Palu with 300,000 people and close to the quake's epicenter, communication has been cut off entirely, Reuters reported.

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"Our funding has been going down every year", agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Indonesian city Palu, whose population is around 350,000, was hit by an natural disaster of 7.5 followed by tsunami. "We don't have any other choice, we must get food", one survivor in Palu told Agence France-Presse.

"The situation in the affected areas is nightmarish", Jan Gelfand, head of an the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) office in Jakarta, said in a statement. People were hungry. There were people in dire need. That means a bottleneck for relief supplies in coming days.

Fuel shortage was affecting power generators, which were now the only source of electricity in the city and were also being used for emergency communication.

President Joko Widodo agreed to accept worldwide help on Sunday night, Thomas Lembong said. The European Union and about 10 other countries have offered assistance, including the USA and China.

Britain will send a team of aid experts to Indonesia after its government made a plea for help in dealing with the aftermath of the devastating Sulawesi quake.


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