South African aid group arrives in Indonesia

South African aid group arrives in Indonesia

South African aid group arrives in Indonesia

Authorities say over 100 people are still unaccounted for.

The 7.5 magnitude natural disaster and a massive tsunami that followed killed more than 1,500 people, with scores more believed buried in deep mud and under debris of collapsed buildings and homes.

The national disaster agency says 1,700 homes in one neighbourhood alone were swallowed up and hundreds of people killed.

The Armed Forces (ATM) is ready to send its response team to the affected areas in quake and tsunami-hit Palu in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia upon request from the country. The military planes are also being used to evacuate injured people and other survivors from Palu, the biggest city in the earthquake-hit region.

"I'm so disappointed. They said they would come with the heavy machines but they didn't".

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was appealing for 22-million Swiss francs ($22m) to help Indonesia.

As the search for victims continued, aid workers raced to get shelter, food, medicine and other badly needed supplies to survivors.

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With power returning to parts of Palu late on Tuesday and phone networks back up and running, there were some signs of things getting back to normal. And the official toll of 1,234 dead is expected to grow as more bodies are recovered in the damaged areas.

"We estimate there were over 1,000 houses buried, so maybe more than 1,000 people are still missing", Yusuf Latif, a spokesman for Indonesia's search and rescue agency told AFP. He spoke as numerous city and region's residents scrambled to get food, water and other supplies — with many resorting to taking things from shops and markets. We, too, need food, ' " McCarthy said.

Despite the Indonesian government urging foreign rescue teams to "stand down" because the crisis was in hand, residents in hard-hit, remote villages like Wani in Donggala province said little help has arrived and hope is fading.

More than 70,000 homes are thought to have been wrecked by the quake, demolished by the tsunami or engulfed by mud slides.

But the Sulawesi tsunami was "atypical" and could not have been simulated, said Girardet, of the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) in Bangkok. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said security was being ramped up to ensure law and order after 92 people were arrested for looting goods such as motor oil, tires and farming equipment.

Global aid is beginning to arrive, including supplies from Britain and Australia, after the government overcame a traditional reluctance to accept help from overseas.

Indonesia and its 18,000 islands are located along the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire" and are frequently struck by natural disaster, volcano and tsunami activity.

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