Death Toll from Indonesia's Quakes, Tsunami Climbs to 1,571

French say no more signs of life in Indonesia hotel rubble

French rescuers on Friday were unable to find the possible sign of life they detected a day earlier under hotel rubble, a week after the destructive natural disaster and tsunami struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island, killing more than 1,550 people and burying hundreds in mud and debris.

The national disaster agency said the confirmed death toll from last Friday's magnitude 7.5 quake increased slightly to 1,571.

A total of 1,424 people have been confirmed dead and over 2,500 injured after the monster natural disaster struck Friday sending destructive waves barrelling into Sulawesi island. Officials say the toll will rise. The United Nations has said some 200,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, are in need of help. Emergency services have been burying people as they are found after the disaster, which killed more than 1,550 people in and around the port city of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

"Logistics are in and continue to spread, there are places that we haven't reached", he said. "They deserve better", Hidayat said as he left Friday prayers at a mosque in the centre of Palu, 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northeast of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. Figures for more remote areas, some still cut off by destroyed roads and landslides, are only trickling in, if at all.

The process to deliver aids for refugees and survivors of tsunami faced difficulties as the mainland accesses to Palu and Donggala were clogged by stones rolling down from hills due to aftershocks that made it riskier for aids team to get supplies to Palu. "Now we have nothing at all....we tried everything and have no response", he said.

"He was still alive then, but he died because the evacuation was so slow", said Bambang, who like many Indonesians uses one name.




Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters in Washington: "We will be working very closely with the Indonesian government to make sure that the support we are providing is highly targeted".

"I am hoping for a miracle", said Bambang, who has been searching daily at the hotel site for his pregnant wife.

Officials on the ground said that while the government was now inviting offers of help, there is still no "mechanism for this to be implemented".

With power returning to parts of Palu late on Tuesday and phone networks back up and running, there were some signs of things getting back to normal.

"We have to use heavy equipment now because it is very hard to sift through the rubble by hand", Mr Yusuf said. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said security was being ramped up to ensure law and order after 92 people were arrested for looting goods such as motor oil, tires and farming equipment.

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