Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Indonesia natural disaster: Search and rescue effort called off

The 6.0 magnitude struck just off the popular holiday destination of Bali. Image USGSMore The 6.0 magnitude struck just off the popular holiday destination of Bali. Image USGSMore
Kenny Thornton | 13 October, 2018, 17:25

According to local estimates, some 5,000 people remain missing in Balaroa and the town of Petobo.

The worst affected area was in Sumenep district, East Java, where three people died in one village and several homes were damaged.

Two earthquakes have struck in the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, killing at least three people dead on the indonesian island of Java.

Central Sulawesi Gov. Longki Djanggola said the disaster relief period, due to expire on Saturday, was extended by two weeks to October 26.

The nighttime quake was centred at sea, 55 kilometres northeast of Situbondo city.

Earlier, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) stated the quake had a 6.4 magnitude but later revised it to a 6.0 magnitude.

The quakes and the tsunami have affected a total of 87,725 people, with 78,994 of them taking shelter in Central Sulawesi province, while the rest have engaged in an exodus to nearby provinces, he added.

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Liquefaction is a fairly common characteristic of high-magnitude earthquakes, but the Indonesian government says there is still insufficient understanding of the phenomenon and how to reduce exposure to it.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding annual meetings on Bali through Sunday. The quake triggered a tsunami warning.

Indonesia on Thursday extended for a day the search for victims of a 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami on Sulawesi island at the request of relatives of the many still missing, the national disaster mitigation agency said.

Assessments of the cost of reconstruction are still being carried out, Nugroho said.

The official death toll rose to 2,065 as of late Wednesday. "Everything I own, everyone else, is gone", he said. "They asked to be relocated to another place and a house made for them".

However, as the Canadian military arrives in the country, Indonesian officials are reportedly trying to limit foreign involvement in the disaster relief efforts. Nugroho said there's no need for global aid other than the four priorities identified by Indonesia - tents, water treatment units, generators and transport.

A detailed needs assessment requirement is needed in order to assist in coordinating response but basic necessities that are still urgently needed to help the victims include fuel, drinking water, medical personnel, medicines and field hospitals, tents, blankets, stretchers, water tanks, food, lamps, generator sets, emergency kitchens, body bags, shrouds and baby food.

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