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Two thousand victims in Palu

· ​The earth continues to shake in Indonesia ·

Another earthquake struck Palu today, less than two weeks after the powerful earthquake that devastated the Sulawesi Island city and the ensuing tsunami on 28 September. Measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, this latest earthquake, local authorities said, did not claim any lives. Civil protection sources reported its epicentre as being located five kilometres north-east of Sulawesi. Meanwhile, the official death toll from the 7.4 earthquake and the tsunami of 28 September has risen to almost 2,000, although local authorities fear for hundreds, if not thousands, who are still buried under the rubble in several neighbourhoods of Palu and other areas of the island that have not yet been reached by rescue workers.

According to Willem Rampangilei, Head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Agency, up to 5,000 people could be buried under the mud in the nearby villages of Balaroa and Petobo, where the earthquake caused the rare phenomenon of “soil liquefaction”, resulting in many homes being swallowed into the ground and turning the area into a sea of mud. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for rescue workers to use heavy machinery to recover the bodies of the victims. The situation is worsening daily as food and clean water become scarce and most of the 200,0000 homeless are in desperate need of aid.

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