Southeast Asia

Survivors try to flee Palu as aid starts to flow in

PHOTO: Locals and aid volunteers are trying to start the long clean up in Palu – VOA News

As aid and volunteers continue pour into north-western areas of Sulawesi, following last Friday’s 7.4-magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, survivors are scrambling to salvage food supplies and other items.

Aid from the central Indonesian government is beginning to trickle into the region according to The Jakarta Post. Many survivors were blocking trucks carrying aid to help themselves to the contents as they said they had gone hungry and thirsty for days. People were waiting for fuel at a gas station asking journalists and officials from Jakarta for drinking water.

Jakarta Post correspondent Andi Hajramurni says, “I ran into a mother and her child at the airport who asked me to share some of my water with her child.” A pregnant woman was also found exhausted outside the airport. She said she was upset to see aid being unloaded from the planes but none reaching the survivors waiting to leave the city at the airport.

Thousands were crowding the Mutiara Sis Al Jufri airport just out of Palu to leave the devastated city while trying to stave off hunger and thirst under the heat of the day. The survivors have been waiting for a chance to flee the city since Saturday, camping outside on mats or cardboard.

Meanwhile, two earthquakes have struck in quick succession off the southern coast of Indonesia’s Sumba island this morning. Sumba Island is south west of Bali and Lombok islands, about 1000 kilometres north of Australia.

A shallow but moderate 5.9 quake struck early this morning, around 40 kilometres off Sumba, an island of some 750,000 people. It was followed up some 15 minutes later by a stronger 6.0 magnitude quake in the same area at a depth of 30 kilometres.

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