What we know so far
- A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday at about 6pm and was followed by a tsunami with waves up to 6m high.
- The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami currently stands at 832, but is expected to rise sharply. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the disaster agency (BNBP) will be proving an official update at 1pm on Monday.
- Authorities have said the final death toll could reach the thousands as rescue teams push into the Donggala region, which was directly hit and is home to 300,000 people.
- In some of the smaller villages and subdistricts around Palu, it is feared entire communities of up to 2000 people have been killed after mudslides submerged and crushed their homes.
- A 14-day state of emergency has been declared in Sulawesi.
- In Palu, authorities are preparing a large mass grave for the burial of the bodies which have been piling up over the weekend. The grave, which will be 10 metres by 100 metres, is being dug for 300 victims and can be enlarged if needed. According to Sutopo, this is a temporary measure to stop disease spreading.
- Indonesia has confirmed it will accept international assistance for the disaster, and has put out calls for help. Australia and Thailand have so far offered support.
- Heavy machinery needed to move rubble has still not reached the area, so search and rescue efforts are being done primarily by hand.
- Efforts continued to save up to 40 people trapped in Palu’s Roa Roa hotel, where victims could still be heard screaming from the rubble on Monday morning. Only one survivor has been pulled out alive.
- Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency has said they ended the tsunami warning for Sulawesi after the third wave had hit the shore of Palu, not before as some had alleged.
- Some telecommunications had been restored to the area but there continues to be no power in Palu.
- There is also a shortage of food and fuel in the city, with huge queues at petrol stations.
- The structural damage done to prisons by the earthquake allowed for a massive prison break across the area. 1,425 prisoners are now missing from jails.