According to the country’s National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), 1,636 people were killed in the provincial capital of Palu, the worst-hit in the twin disasters, 171 people in Donggala, 222 in Sigi, 15 in Parigi Moutong and one in Pasangkayu. Nearly 1,000 bodies have been interred in a mass grave.

Up to 10,679 people were injured, 2,549 of who were in severe condition, and 671 others are still unaccounted for.

Search and rescue team members look for survivors in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
A spokesperson from BNPB, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said more and more people have been evacuated. It was estimated that the double disasters have damaged a total of 67,310 houses and so far, 82,775 have been placed in 112 shelter camps across the province.

Indonesia has declared that the search for survivors will be terminated on October 11th, the 14th day after the catastrophe due to the potential risk of an epidemic. The local authorities have determined to focus on evacuating, arranging residence and providing treatment for injured victims.

Central Sulawesi will be moved from emergency response to reconstruction. It is expected to take two years to implement the reconstruction plans here.

Central Sulawesi was ravaged by two devastating quakes measuring 6.1 and 7.5 on the Richter scale on September 28th. The second was followed by giant tsunami waves on the afternoon of the same day, destroying thousands of buildings and roads.

The catastrophe was the latest to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

In December 2004, a massive 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean countries, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia./.

CPV/VNA