Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 1,944

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    The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia has risen to 1,944, officials have said. 

    Most of the victims are from the hard-hit city of Palu, in Central Sulawesi, with fewer people thought to have been killed in more remote areas. 

    It is unclear how many people are still missing, but the number could be as high as 5,000 according to the country’s national disaster agency. 

    Many victims are thought to be buried in deep mud after the earthquake and tsunami, which struck Sulawesi island on 28 September, caused loose soil to liquefy and swallow entire neighbourhoods in Palu. 

    Officials are meeting with religious groups and victims’ families to seek permission to turn the areas wiped out by liquefaction into mass graves. 

    Search teams are expected to stop looking for victims on Thursday, after which all those unaccounted for will be declared missing and considered dead, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. 

    Some schools in Palu have reopened in the aftermath of the disaster. 

    “We won’t force the students to come back because many are traumatised,” said Kasiludin, the principal at one state high school. 

    “But we must start again soon to keep their spirits up and so they don’t fall behind.”

    The school had lost seven students and one teacher, he said. 

    Across Palu nine schools have been destroyed. 

    The government has allocated $37 million to help victims of the earthquake. 

    View the original article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indonesia-earthquake-latest-death-toll-latest-tsunami-a8573646.html

    Additional reporting by agencies 

    Death toll after Indonesian earthquake and tsunami rises to 1,944

    The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia has risen to 1,944, officials have said. Most of the victims are from the hard-hit city of Palu, in Central Sulawesi, with fewer people thought to have been killed in more remote areas.

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