Death toll in Palu quake, tsunami reaches 384 on Saturday

Death toll in Palu quake, tsunami reaches 384 on Saturday

Some buildings are damaged due to a powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawes, Saturday (Sept 29, 2018). ANTARA FOTO/BNPB/pras/18.

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The death toll in a powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu reached 384 on Saturday, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

"The death toll is 384. The figure may increase, as the joint team has not reached all affected areas," Head of the BNPB Data and Information Center and Public Relations Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated on Saturday.

Nugroho noted that 540 residents in Palu had sustained injuries. The figure did not include those from Donggala District that also bore the brunt of the quake and tsunami.

The Disaster Victim Investigation team of the National Police has, so far, identified 56 of the 384 dead victims.

The agency has also received a report that 29 people were still missing in Palu City.

Sutopo confirmed the social media report and photographs of the quake and tsunami victims that had yet to be evacuated.

The evacuation and identification of quake victims are still underway.

He noted that both Palu City and Donggala District currently need heavy-duty equipment, power supplies, and telecommunication networks apart from fast food and other basic necessities.

"Last night, the joint SAR team heard somebody seeking help to remove the debris falling on him. However, it is increasingly difficult to evacuate victims in the dark," he revealed.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency earlier stated that an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale had rocked the province on Friday evening. The quake, centered 27 kilometers (km) northeast of Donggala at a depth of 10 km, triggered a tsunami 0.5-6 meters high in the province`s western coast.

Reporting by Virna P Setyorini
Editing by Suharto