800+ dead in powerful Indonesia earthquake and tsunami
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) — As rescue workers comb through chunks of concrete and lumber searching for survivors, Indonesian officials say that 832 people were killed in a powerful earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi.
Two days after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the island, the death toll has continuously risen and authorities say more bodies could still be recovered.
Indonesian Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho estimates that 2.4 million people were impacted by Friday’s earthquake.
Nugroho said 71 foreigners were in the city of Palu at the time of the quake and most were safely evacuated to Jakarta. At least five foreigners, including three French nationals as well as a Malaysian and a South Korean national, are unaccounted for, he said.
As of midday Sunday, there were no reports of US citizens affected in the quake, the US Embassy in Jakarta told CNN.
Survivors walked through floodwater and piles of debris. A shopping mall turned into rubble and the large dome of a mosque collapsed in Palu, home of 350,000 people.
Families carried the few belongings they could retrieve in plastic bags and backpacks to outdoor shelters where thousands hope to receive aid.
Hundreds were badly injured and at least 17,000 people were left homeless, Nugroho said.
The lack of heavy equipment and personnel has slowed down rescue efforts in the coastal city of Palu, where workers were scrambling Sunday to rescue about 50 people trapped beneath the debris of a collapsed hotel.