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Published 2018-10-17
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More mass burials are carried out as the number of victims of the Indonesian tsunami increases

Authorities in Indonesia have been forced to carry out mass burials for the victims of the tsunami that hit the city of Palu, while the relatives of the disappeared prepared bags for their loved ones and intensified the search for survivors. In a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of disease in the devastated region, the country's national disaster mitigation agency has authorized such burials. Follow us to know all the details…

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The situation has started with numerous teams of workers, with their mouths covered by masks, placing at least 18 corpses in bags in the same ditch... In Poboya, in the hills of Palu (Indonesia), the volunteers had previously dug a tomb of 100 meters long in order to accommodate some 1,300 fatalities. In the first instance, it was thought that there would be 300 bodies, but the figure increased drastically... One of the worst cases of the last decades.

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Willem Rampangilei, the head of the agency, said mass burials "should be done as quickly as possible for health and religious reasons"... The measure came amid the desperate search for survivors of the tsunami last Friday, which caused the collapse of thousands of houses, hotels, shopping centers, and several mosques ... A really delicate circumstance in which the quick action of rescue professionals and a collaboration on the part of citizens is needed.

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The waves and the level of water in general, which reached six meters in height in some areas, completely destroyed the city... The official death toll this Monday has remained at 844 but is expected to reach thousands in a short time. Hundreds of bodies have been found on the beaches, and authorities fear that many have been dragged into the sea ... Therefore the data is approximate and will have to spend a few months to assess a specific information.

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"Many bodies have been smashed on the beach and are floating on the surface of the sea," said a local resident to the country's media... "The casualties will continue to rise," said the spokesman for the disaster agency Sutopo. Purwo Nugroho, whose company announced the increase in the number of victims from 420 to almost 900... Extreme circumstances that show the ability of weather phenomena to cause destruction on our planet. In the future, they will have to maximize the prevention in the infrastructures…

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"Today we are going to begin the mass burial of the victims to prevent the spread of different diseases..." Due to the multitude of lifeless bodies that remain scattered in various areas, it is essential to process them so that the number of deaths does not increase in one or another way. On Sunday, the administration of Central Sulawesi declared a state of emergency of 14 days, alleging that this would allow "both the regional and national governments to mobilize personnel, logistics, equipment and money to meet the needs of the area and those affected... "

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It is said that the rescue teams have not yet been able to reach the Donggala region, which has a population of 300,000 people and was directly affected by the tsunami... Rescuers were competing against the clock and without the necessary equipment to save those who they are still trapped in the rubble, with up to 60 subjects fearing they might be under a single hotel in Palu; the rescuers said they heard screams of children under the scum…

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A 25-year-old woman was found alive at night in the ruins of the Roa-Roa Hotel, according to the search and rescue agency, which posted photos of her on a stretcher covered by a blanket... The rescue teams were also working to free a 15-year-old girl trapped under the concrete of her house after collapsing on her family. Unable to move her legs, Nurul Istikharah was trapped next to her dead mother and niece in Palu... However, people have not lost hope.

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There were also concerns about the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a festival on the beach that was to begin on Friday, according to a spokesman for the disaster agency... On the other hand, an official from the Ministry of Justice confirmed a massive escape from the prison of the place, with around 1,200 prisoners escaping from three different detention centers. So far, 343 remain fugitives... Such has been the impact of this catastrophe.

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The city of Sulawesi is in the famous "ring of fire" of the Pacific, the most seismic and volcanically active area in the world... The 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook last Friday, causing a huge tsunami that destroyed the entire coast of Palu. The earthquake came when the evening prayers were about to begin in the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, on the most sacred day of the week, when mosques are especially busy…

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Next, we will try to shed light on the phenomena that caused such a tragedy. Throughout last Friday they began to give small tremors. However, in the early afternoon, the Palu-Koru fault separated, at a relatively small distance from the coast, specifically 10 kilometers away. A fact that caused a severe earthquake, of 7.5 on the Ritcher scale. The experts could not predict any of these events, unfortunately.

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Hamza Latief, who belongs to the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia, has been studying the fault since 1995 and explained what he could contemplate these days. Latief assured that the impact of this seismic movement was magnified by the thick layers of sediments in which the city is settled. Due to the near break of the tectonic plate on which this population almost rests, the damage does not surprise the geologists. Some say it could have been worse…

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While large rocks only tend to vibrate during an earthquake, the sediments move much more, essentially behaving like liquids if the intensity of the earthquake is sufficiently powerful. Due to this phenomenon, there are very few constructions that are capable of resisting such movement. Then, the numerous precarious shanties and facilities in this area could rarely be destroyed by the action of the fault…

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"Any building erected over others from past eras, which were filled with soil, does not have a foundation as solid as a bedrock," said Jess Phoenix, a US-based geologist who has studied for a long time and investigated the case of Indonesia. When it comes to earthquakes, this expert comments: "Those are the areas that we should all worry about because they do not resist this type of phenomenon." All this without talking about the big wave…

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"Normally not much attention is paid to the failure of Palu-Koru when it comes to tsunamis," said Professor Philip Liu Li-Fan of the National University of Singapore. This is because the two tectonic plates have always moved and moved horizontally, not vertically. The aggressive collapse of this fault has caused large masses of water to rise and ravage the region. A detail that in the future they should take care of, and adapt the houses for their scourge.

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"We have been trying to find out what is really happening," said Professor Liu. It could be that the earthquake hit an underwater slope and caused a great detachment, which also caused the mass of liquid to get dirty. He also pointed out that there could be some erroneous data in the description of the failure, but that at the moment "we do not know". We hope that this catastrophic incident will help us to better understand this type of devastating movements.

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Once the great wave began to move, the population of Palu, at the end of a 10-kilometer coast, was a very easy and fragile target. Tsunamis are not a real danger when they remain at sea. However, when the waves approach land, its base drags from the seabed and rise several meters. During the course of 3 minutes, Palu was hit by 3 of these bodies of water. Jess Phoenix commented that the geography and the tempo meant that it had been "basically the worst possible situation."

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"When the water breaks through a horseshoe-shaped area like that, apart from increasing because the depth is less, the bol effect also occurs. This is when the waves begin to bounce off the nearby coastline. Latief claims that the area had been hit by tsunamis in the past. There are historical records that say that in 1928, a wave 3 to 4 meters that rose to 8 when it hit the bay. A destructive force that escapes our understanding…

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"The people of the region are familiar with what this phenomenon can cause. I hope that if there were deaths on the coast, they are trying to escape from there. But a wave of such characteristics is too powerful. Clear evacuation routes are needed to evacuate everyone in a short time. From my experience working in Indonesia, I do not see that there is an effective escape procedure. I'm not sure about this particular city, but it's probably very difficult to save a large number of individuals," Phoenix said.

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"This has been a terrifying double disaster, we have not heard anything from Donggala and that is extremely worrying, there are more than 300,000 people living there, this is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse," said Jan Gelfand, an the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We will continue reporting as soon as we know something else ... Thus we arrive at the end of our article, we hope that it has inspired you or at least entertained you.

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More mass burials are carried out as the number of victims of the Indonesian tsunami increases 20
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