Rotting quake victims to be buried in mass graves: Police

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A large number of rotting corpses of the earthquake and tsunami victims in Donggala District and Palu, capital city of Central Sulawesi Province, would be buried in mass graves on Monday, police spokesman said.

"Most of the corpses have started rotting so that we are going to bury them in mass graves as quickly as possible to prevent them from posing a risk of epidemic diseases," National Police Spokesman Brig.Gen.Dedi Prasetyo said here on Sunday.

The rescue workers of a joint-emergency task force have been working hard to evacuate the dead victims and survivors from the rubble of damaged and destroyed buildings in the disaster zones, he said.

At the same time, the police and military personnel had been dispatched to safeguard several gas stations and minimarkets around Palu to prevent them from being looted.

"The police and military personnel will secure the gas stations and minimarkets to prevent a number of local people, who need food, from looting them," he said.

Dedi Prasetyo admitted that a number of residents still looted several minimarkets to get food because the emergency relief supplies could not yet be distributed equally to all disaster-hit areas.

Amid difficult accesses to certain areas, whose infrastructures got destroyed by the 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, the police and military personnel kept transporting supplies of food and medicine to the disaster victims, he said.

The earthquake that hit several parts of Central Sulawesi Province on Friday afternoon was followed by tsunami, which had badly smashed the coasts of Palu and Donggala District.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) recorded that, as of Sunday at 01.00 pm Western Indonesia Time (WIB), the earthquake and tsunami had killed 821 people in Palu and 11 others in Donggala District.

In response to this catastrophe, President Joko Widodo has expressed his condolences to those affected.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency issued a tsunami warning following the earthquake.

The tremors of the strong earthquake were also felt by those living in Mamuju District, around 237 kilometers away from Donggala District.

Source: ANTARA News

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