Death Toll From Indonesia Earthquake And Tsunami Reaches 1,234, Another 799 Injured

| October 2 , 2018 , 13:45 IST

The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia's central Sulawesi island on September 28 has increased to 1,234 with 799 injured, Indonesia's disaster agency confirmed on Tuesday. The previous death toll had been announced as 844. Another 2 shallow earthquakes hit the eastern Indonesian island of Sumba but no tsunami warning was issued.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of Indonesia's disaster agency announced the death toll in a press conference in Jakarta, adding that the death toll is likely to rise further as the communities of Sigi and Balaroa have not been counted yet.

The earthquake on September 28, estimated to be of 7.5 magnitude by the US Geological Survey, triggered a series of aftershocks that continued to hit the coastal city of Palu on Sulawesi island the next day, where many of the bodies were found.

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The situation in the severely damaged areas of central Sulawesi island is said to be increasingly desperate as people are running short of food, fuel and other essentials. In view of the damages, Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo has authorized the acceptance of international help, with generators, heavy equipment and tents being high priority requirements.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night called up Indonesian President Joko Widodo to offer condolences on the loss of lives and also offer assistance to the earthquake-hit nation as a maritime neighbour and as a friend of Indonesia.

Already, the Indian Navy on Monday diverted 3 ships INS Tir, Sujata and Shardul deployed in Southeast Asia to Indonesia for humanitarian assistance.

"Besides humanitarian aid and disaster relief, bricks carried by ships, the ships are carrying 30,000L of bottled drinking water, 1500L of packed juices, 500L of milk, 700 kg of biscuits, 20 tents," an Indian Navy spokesperson said.

ALSO READ: 91 Killed, More Than 100 Injured As 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia's Lombok Island

Further details of India's relief assistance to Indonesia will be worked out through diplomatic and official channels, the two leaders agreed.

Last month, 91 people were killed and more than 100 others injured when a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Lombok resort island of Indonesia.

An archipelago of thousands of islands, Indonesia is located on the 'Pacific Ring of Fire', which is a seismic activity hotspot frequently hit by earthquakes although most of them are harmless.