Rescuers have been dealing mostly by hand in search of survivors buried under the debris in the city of Paulo.The National Search and Rescue agency says they desperately need heavy machinery to remove the rubble.
It would be dangerous if search teams go in there because we are still having aftershocks.I really hope the local government will be able to get us heavy machinery.The powerful earthquake triggered tsunami waves as high as six meters which devastated homes and swept people away.Survivors describe a harrowing experience.
I was carried by the wave about 50 meters. I couldn’t hold onto anything. The water was spinning me around.There was short of bars over the front.I climbed it that was where I arrested, then a second wave even higher than the first, suddenly, I was on the roof.Someone told me that my brother was okay, so I felt relieved but we waited and waited until into the night, until the morning but he never returned.Meanwhile the death toll is growing. Official said the final death toll could be in the thousands.There are still unidentified bodies as well as victims buried under ruins.There are also remote areas yet to be reached by joint search and rescue teams.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo visited the tsunami devastated Paulo waterfront on Sunday.Everything is still at an emergency status,but the most important thing I would like to emphasize to all ministries, military, police and regional administration is first to focus on all things related to the recovering victims from the wreckage.Coastal cities of Paulo and Angola in Central Sulawesi province were hit the hardest by the massive tsunami.The region has experienced more than 200 aftershocks and serious damage to the airport roads, communications and other important infrastructure.
Zlatica Hoke, Voa News, Washington.