'Tragedy Everywhere': Aid Groups Scramble Against Time After Indonesian Tsunami

'Tragedy Everywhere': Aid Groups Scramble Against Time After Indonesian Tsunami

'Tragedy Everywhere': Aid Groups Scramble Against Time After Indonesian Tsunami

Officials say the toll will rise.

The U.N. says its humanitarian office is reporting that "needs are vast" following the quake and tsunami in Indonesia, with people urgently requiring shelter, clean water, food, fuel and emergency medical care.

"The government of Indonesia is experienced and well-equipped in managing natural disasters, but sometimes, as with all other countries, outside help is also needed", UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said in a statement.

Global efforts to help survivors of Indonesia's devastating quake and tsunami gathered pace oyesterday as concern grew for hundreds of thousands with little food and water, six days after disaster struck.

Some services began returning to normal in Indonesia's quake and tsunami stricken city of Palu on Thursday, but the fate of many thousands of people in outlying districts remained unknown almost a week after the disaster struck. There are a further 113 people who are still missing. "We will continue to work closely with the Indonesian government to help people affected by this tragedy", Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.

"The Philippines will do its part, no matter how modest, to help ensure that the challenges Indonesia now faces, will be overcome", the official said.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 11 transport aircraft have been pledged, including two each from Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and one from India.

Supply of gasoline was gradually improving as the government ordered state-run oil and gas firm Pertamina to mobilize its gasoline stocks stored in provinces around Sulawesi to the tsunami-affected Palu.

As a result of the disaster, it is estimated that 65,000 houses have suffered some form of damage, this includes an estimated 10,000 houses that were completely destroyed by the tsunami, as well as 15,000 houses that suffered severe quake damage.

Indonesia has been hit by a number of earthquakes in recent months, with the events that struck the island of Lombok and surrounding area in July and August now thought to have cost nearly $800 million.

Nevertheless there were signs of life returning to normal, with children playing in the streets, radios blaring out music, and electricity back up and running in most places.

As a result, the Indonesian government expects to launch a new strategy to find disaster recovery, part of which could include the issuance and sale of catastrophe bonds, the report says.

They were from Palu and the surrounding districts struck by the disasters last Friday.

But for most, daily life has changed beyond all recognition.

A woman cries as she attends a mass prayer for Palu at Talise beach for the one-week tsunami anniversary in Palu, Indonesia, October 5, 2018. Many spend their days trying to secure basics like clean water and fuel for generators.

Widodo was expected to tour various areas and visit a hospital Wednesday.

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