Indonesia quake-tsunami death toll tops 1,700

UK and Indonesian Aid being loaded onto an RAF A400M aircraft in Jakarta Indonesia bound for Balikpapan to be distributed to the earthquake and tsunami hit island of Sulawesi. Friday

Fitriani, a student from Palu who goes by one name, said his group survived the disaster but wasn't sure they could attend the competition until they were told they could board the military plane.

But disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a day earlier that many victims could still be buried in deep mud in areas where the September 28 quake caused loose, wet soil to liquefy and swallow entire neighbourhoods.

The New Zealand Air Force has flown 120 residents out of the earthquake-ravaged Indonesian city of Palu.

Emergency services have been burying people as they are found after the disaster, which killed more than 1,550 people in and around the port city of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

"What we need most now are tents and medicine", Lakuaci said.

Officials had initially predicted some 1,000 people were buried beneath the ruins of Palu.

While aid is finally reaching isolated communities in Indonesia, many Indonesians in Canada are finally finding out the fate of their family members in the disaster zone.

"Our Hercules was one of the first two foreign aircraft to deliver aid to Palu and Indonesian soldiers cheered as we offloaded the supplies yesterday". "No siren or anything", said the 51-year-old civil servant, adding that he has never heard the warning system ever.

"[The survivors] can not stay for very long in the displaced persons camps because [the children] must return to school soon", BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a press conference on Sunday, adding that emergency schools may be set up using tents.

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As Indonesia struggles with the aftermath of the devastating quake, the spotlight has again been shone on the apparent lack of preparedeness in a sprawling archipelago that suffers regular tremors, lying on the seismically active so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

But it has accepted help from overseas for the disaster in Sulawesi. Children and the elderly were starting to get sick and fuel was also in very short supply, he said.

The number of people who were missing or believed to be buried under the debris were 683 and 152 respectively, he said.

"The search for the victim is expected to be completed on Thursday", Sutopo told Xinhua.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In coordination with the Government of Indonesia, IOM is preparing to send an aid convoy from the south of the island to the north, where needs are greatest. They will help evacuate several injured patients waiting at the airport.

They are unsure when they'll be able to rebuild and spend hours each day often futilely trying to secure necessities such as fuel for generators. But they also had hope more aid would pour into the city of Palu and the surrounding Donggala district on the island of Sulawesi.

Febriani said her house was destroyed in the disaster.

The U.N. announced a $15 million allocation to bolster relief efforts.

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