Indonesia battles fake news after quake-tsunami disaster

Some residents have taken to digging through reeking piles of sodden food and debris

DITA ALANGKARA APSome residents have taken to digging through reeking piles of sodden food and debris

The city of Palu and surrounding districts on the island of Sulawesi were rocked by the 7.5 magnitude natural disaster last week, killing more than 1,400 people and destroying thousands of homes, as well as damaging bridges and other infrastructure.

A week on from the disaster, some roads in the area remain impassable, detritus from the tsunami is scattered everywhere while terrified people are sleeping outside for fear of further quakes.

Bungay Rotary Club is also running a quiz evening next Friday, October 12, at 7.30pm to raise funds. Fitriani, a student from Palu who goes by one name, said his group survived the disaster but wasn't sure they could attend the competition until they were told they could board the military plane.

The damage at Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri airport.

Global volunteers said many camps lack adequate sanitation, sparking fears of the spread of disease.

"Please tell the government and the NGOs if they're really willing to help us with some food please do not give it away through the command posts", said Andi Rusding, who was huddled with his relatives under a tarpaulin. 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.

As a result of the disaster, it is estimated that 65,000 houses have suffered some form of damage, this includes an estimated 10,000 houses that were completely destroyed by the tsunami, as well as 15,000 houses that suffered severe quake damage.

Thousands of others were injured and more than 70,000 people have been moved to shelters and makeshift tents that have sprouted across Palu, the provincial capital that's home to 380,000 people, and its surrounding areas.

"We've confirmed that the mayor is still alive and healthy", Setu said.

Teams from Indonesia's communications ministry and disaster agency have taken to Twitter and other social media to debunk fake claims in recent days.

Worldwide efforts to help survivors of Indonesia's devastating quake and tsunami gathered pace oyesterday as concern grew for hundreds of thousands with little food and water, six days after disaster struck.

Debris of collapsed houses and roads mixed and piled up to each other, witnesses said.

The twin disasters struck Palu and surrounding districts in Central Sulawesi province on September 28.

Palu has repeatedly been hit by the quakes and tsunamis that plague much of the Indonesian archipelago. Heavy machinery and military transport aircraft have arrived for rescue efforts in Palu, and The Associated Press reports that workers have begun to rebuild the city's power grid.

The U.N. announced a $15 million allocation to bolster relief efforts.

Officials say the toll will rise.

Rampant looting took place in disaster-hit areas in the past several days, while stores and markets were closed down. The death toll was expected to increase, but officials said rescue crews had reached all affected areas.

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