Indonesia: Death toll in Donggala-Palu quake nears 1,407

Antara 3 Oct 18;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The death toll from Friday`s Donggala-Palu earthquake and tsunami has risen to 1,407, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Head for Data, Information, and Public Relations Center Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated.

"Some 519 dead people have been buried after being identified," Nugroho noted in a press conference here on Wednesday.

Nugroho remarked that the city of Palu had the highest number of dead, reaching 1,177 people.

He remarked that the joint search and rescue team had continued to prioritize the capital of Central Sulawesi for the evacuation of victims.

In addition to Palu, the death toll in Donggala District had reached 153 while 12 in Parigi Moutong District and 65 in Sigi District.

"The number of dead will continue to increase. The joint search and rescue team has started to move into the districts of Donggala, Parigi Moutong, and Sigi," he explained.

Nugroho noted that although no foreigners were found dead, the whereabouts of a Belgian and South Korean were still unknown.

An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale, which was updated by BMKG to 7.4 on the Richter Scale, shook the Palu and Donggala regions last Friday evening.

The epicenter of the earthquake at a depth of 10 kilometers was located 27 kilometers east of the Donggala Sea.

The BMKG has issued a tsunami alert, warning of potential for waves of 0.5 meters to three meters on western Donggala coast, and Waspada status, with warning of potential tsunami waves of less than 0.5 meters on northern Donggala beach, northern Mamuju, and the western city of Palu.

In the meantime, President Joko Widodo stated that the handling of the impact of the earthquake and tsunami, especially in Palu City, was going well.

"I think everything, including evacuation, is going well, and heavy equipment has entered all areas," President Jokowi informed reporters while reviewing disaster management and handling at Petobo Village, South Palu Sub-district, Palu City, on Wednesday.

He noted that clearing and search activities were being conducted for victims at that location and elsewhere.

"The wounded are also being taken to the hospital in Makassar, so that better treatment would be offered," he remarked.

The head of state undertook a field visit again to review the real conditions after having given instructions on the handling of evacuation, electricity, fuel, logistics, and especially assistance to the injured four days ago.

With regard to electricity, President Jokowi remarked that 500 teams from PLN were working on the field to repair networks, poles, and cables.

"The incoming report of 40 percent of electricity has begun to run, although not from the substation but from generators," he revealed.

Reporting by Dewanto Samodro
Editing by Azis Kurmala, Yoseph Hariyadi
Editor: Heru Purwanto

Small quakes hit Southeast, South Sulawesi
The Jakarta Post 3 Oct 18;

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake was felt in Luwu Timur regency in South Sulawesi on Wednesday at 1:14 p.m. Jakarta time, following a 3.8-magnitude earthquake in Konawe Utara regency in Southeast Sulawesi, which occurred at 4:12 a.m. Jakarta time, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported.

BMKG Kendari official Rosa Amelia said the epicenter of the quake in Konawe Utara was about 63 kilometers northeast of Kendari and it was 11 km deep.

“As of now, there are no reports of casualties and damaged buildings,” Rosa said as quoted by Antara, adding that there was no tsunami threat.

As of 8 a.m., no aftershocks were recorded by the agency.

“We call on all residents to stay calm and conduct their activities normally.”

The epicenter of the 4.8-magnitude earthquake in South Sulawesi was on land, 58 km northwest of Luwu Timur regency, the BMKG reported.

Sulawesi, one of Indonesia’s largest islands, has been hit by natural disasters like earthquakes, a tsunami and the eruption of a volcano this week.

Last Friday, a 7.4-magnitude quake, which was followed by a tsunami and soil liquefaction, hit Central Sulawesi leaving more than 1,400 people dead. The quake was also followed by several big aftershocks.

On Wednesday morning, Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi spewed a 4,000-meter high column of ash into the air, prompting authorities to raise the alert status to Level III, which is the lowest level. (vny)

Residents warned to steer clear as Mt. Soputan continues to erupt
Ivany Atina Arbi The Jakarta Post 3 Oct 18;

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) has warned residents to steer clear of anywhere within a 4-kilometer radius from the peak of Mount Soputan in Minahasa, North Sulawesi, following a second eruption at 11:12 a.m. local time, or 10:12 a.m. Jakarta time.

The center has expanded the restricted area up to 6.5 kilometers to the west and southwest from the peak, over concerns of potential lava and hot ashes.

“Residents are advised to use dust masks to avoid any potential respiratory problems in the event of falling ash,” the warning stated on Wednesday.

Those living near Ranowangko, Lawian, Popang and Kelewahu rivers on the mountain have also been warned of potential lava flows in the case of rain.

The authorities previously raised the volcano’s status to Level III (alert) in the four-level national volcano alert system, following an eruption that occurred at 8:47 a.m. local time. A 4,000-meter column of ash was spewed by the volcano during the eruption that lasted for around six minutes. (swd)