Death toll in Indonesia’s twin quake-tsunami disaster rises to nearly 1,400; IAF starts humanitarian relief mission

The death toll in Indonesia’s twin quake-tsunami disaster rose to nearly 1,400 today. Government rescue workers are focusing on half a dozen key sites around the ravaged seaside city of Palu. The UN’s humanitarian office said, almost 2 lakh people need urgent help among them tens of thousands of children. An estimated 66,000 homes destroyed or damaged by the 7.5-magnitude quake and the tsunami.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that across Donggala, more than 3 lakh people have been affected by the disaster. Survivors are battling thirst and hunger, with food and clean water in short supply, and local hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of injured.

In yet another reminder of Indonesia’s vulnerability to natural disasters, the Soputan Volcano in Sulawesi erupted today, spewing volcanic ash up to 4,000 metres above the crater. The state disaster agency warned people to stay at least four kilometres. It said there was no need to evacuate for the time being.

Indonesia sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the world’s most tectonically active region, and its 260 million people remain hugely vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

Indian Air Force (IAF)  has started  humanitarian relief mission to help earthquake and tsunami  hit  people of Indonesia. Official sources said, the IAF  is  taking part in the operation  carrying  National Disaster Response Force along with  medical  teams  and other relief material.

Earlier,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic  conversation  with  Indonesian President  Joko Widodo and offered deepest condolences  on the loss of  lives in the recent earthquake and tsunami there.  He offered all possible assistance to  Indonesia.

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