Web Desk(October 04, 2018): The death toll from last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi soared to 1,558 on Thursday, as forensics crews combed through the wreckage in the blazing heat for the fifth day in a row.
A 7.5-magnitude quake struck the remote island on Sept. 28, triggering meters-high tidal waves and turning entire neighborhoods into muddy sinkholes. The cities of Palu and Donggala were among the worst hit, though rescuers are still struggling to reach remote coastal communities pounded by waves. As of Thursday evening local time, 1,558 people are confirmed dead and 113 others are missing, according to Indonesia’s military authority, KOREM. Rescuers say the number of people missing is likely much higher; a team in the destroyed neighborhood of Balaroa said thousands are unaccounted for across the seaside province. Indonesia is prone to disaster—the Southeast Asian archipelago sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a volatile strip along the ocean’s periphery where most of the world’s deadliest quakes have occurred. But last week’s twin tragedies were the worst to strike in years.