Earthquake and tsunami toll reaches 844 people in Indonesia: 34 Christian children at Bible camp die
Sawako Uchida and Kanako Itamae
Modern Tokyo Times
The brutal 7.5 magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami on the island of Sulawesi is now known to have killed 844 people. Sadly, it is more than likely that this figure will continue to increase because many people are still missing. Also, the impact was more extensive than originally reported.
In one devastating loss of life at the same place, it is known that 34 Christian children died at a study camp. Of course, the loss of life is tragic irrespective of age, ethnicity, or religion. However, news that so many children died in one single place is heart-wrenching for local people on the island of Sulawesi – and for everyone who is concerned by the tragic event.
These 34 Christian children were studying at a Bible camp when the impact of the tsunami hit. Therefore, the bodies of the children were found under debris created by the brutal tsunami.
The central government is trying to assist local authorities, search and rescue missions, volunteers, the police, local medics, and other important areas. Yet, with time running out for many people buried under homes, rubble, and other, then it is a fight against the clock.
Reuters reports, “Most of the confirmed deaths were in Palu, a city of about 380,000 people, where authorities were preparing a mass grave to bury the dead as soon as they were identified.”
Lee Jay Walker, Modern Tokyo Times, says, “To the credit of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, he visited areas hit extensively by the earthquake and tsunami. Of course, the leader of the nation knows that aftershocks could happen at any time – and other dangers persist because many homes are unstable and leaks are another danger. Despite this, Widodo visited the people of Sulawesi and witnessed the devastation at first hand.”
Fears persist that the death toll will increase further because some areas haven’t been reached. Hence, the great concern now exists for Donggala and other areas near the epicenter of the earthquake.
The BBC reports, “Blocked roads, a damaged airport and broken telecommunications have made it difficult to bring help into the affected area, and impossible to contact more remote regions.”
It seems more than likely that the death toll will keep on rising. Therefore, it is essential that regional and international governments provide various forms of assistance.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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