VILLAGES SWALLOWED UP
Number of missing after Indonesia’s twin disaster soars to 5,000
Palu, Indonesia — The number of people believed missing from the quake and tsunami that struck Indonesia’s Palu city has soared to 5,000, an official said on Sunday, indicating that far more may have perished in the twin disaster than the current toll. Indonesia’s disaster agency said they had recovered 1,763 bodies so far after the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Sulawesi on September 28.
However, there are fears that two of the hardest-hit neighbourhoods in Palu — Petobo and Balaroa — could contain thousands more victims, swallowed up by ground that engulfed whole communities in a process known as liquefaction. "Based on reports from the [village] heads of Balaroa and Petobo, there are about 5,000 people who have not been found," agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Sunday. "Nevertheless, officials there are still trying to confirm this and are gathering data. It is not easy to obtain the exact number of those trapped by landslides, or li...