Palu city on Sulawesi island has been left in ruins after it was hit by a powerful quake and a wall of water which razed whole neighbourhoods to the ground, with the official death toll now 1,571. The number of confirmed missing stands at over 100, but fears are growing that vast numbers of people have been buried in a massive government housing complex at Balaroa, where the sheer force of the quake turned the earth temporarily to mush. Some roads remain impassable, detritus from the tsunami is scattered everywhere, and terrified people are sleeping outside in makeshift camps for fear of more quakes. ” A state of emergency could be extended for a couple of months “until people in Palu can stand on their own”, Indonesian vice president Jusuf Kalla said during a visit to the shattered city. There were poignant scenes in Palu as hundreds of worshippers wearing skullcaps gathered by the coast, chanting and saying prayers out to sea.
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