As of Saturday morning, the earthquake victims, likely trapped under the rubble of the destroyed buildings, including the city`s biggest shopping mall, have yet to be evacuated.
Antara journalist Rolex Malaha, who traveled across the city to observe the real condition in the aftermath of the quakes on Saturday morning, reported that tens of local residents might still be trapped under the rubble of the four-floor Tatura shopping mall.
A worker at Tatura shopping mall stated that several victims, buried under the rubble, had yet to be rescued and evacuated.
A total of 14 bodies, retrieved from the Tatura shopping mall, had been carried to the Budi Agung Hospital, while several hundreds of wounded survivors had yet to receive medical treatment due to unavailability of doctors.
Several buildings, including the Roa-Roa Hotel and Anutapura Hospital, were destroyed by the strong earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami.
The eight-floor hotel has 80 rooms, of which 76 were occupied by guests. According to several witnesses, many guests of the hotel might still be trapped under the rubble.
Meanwhile, the fate of several hundreds of people flocking to the Wonderful Palu Nomoni Festival venue remain unknown after the tsunami hit the area on Friday afternoon.
Among those missing are dancers, who would perform at the annual festival.
The strong earthquake not only destroyed many commercial and government buildings but also the people`s houses.
Several city residents, fearing the aftershocks, have yet to return to their houses and have instead taken refuge in safer places and are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Certain parts of Central Sulawesi, especially the areas of Donggala District and Palu, the province`s capital city, were rocked by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake on Friday afternoon.
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency has issued a tsunami warning following the earthquake. The tremors of the strong earthquake were also felt by those living in Mamuju District, around 237 kilometers away from Donggala District.
In response to this catastrophe, President Joko Widodo has expressed his condolences to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
Reporting by Budi Setiawanto dan Rolex Malaha
Editing by Rahmad Nasution