Torrential Rains Hamper Hunt For Indonesia Quake Survivors
Sumaira FH 1 month ago Sun 17th January 2021 | 03:10 PM
Mamuju, Indonesia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jan, 2021 ) :Torrential monsoon rains hampered the hunt Sunday for anyone still buried alive under buildings flattened by a powerful earthquake on Indonesia's Sulawesi island, after the huge tremor killed at least 73 and left thousands homeless.
Excavators and cranes were deployed across the devastated seaside city of Mamuju, where buildings were reduced to a tangled mass of twisted metal and chunks of concrete, including a hospital and the regional governor's office.
It was unclear how many people -- dead or alive -- could still be under the mountains of debris in the aftermath of Friday's 6.2-magnitude quake, as scores of rescuers combed through the destruction, filling body bags with corpses.
Police on Sunday deployed a K-9 unit of sniffer dogs to help in the search at a badly damaged hospital.
"The rain poses risks because damaged buildings could collapse if it gets too heavy...and aftershocks could move them too," said rescuer Octavianto.
But moving debris too fast with heavy equipment could crush and kill any buried survivors.
"It is most likely any more victims are already dead if 24 hours has passed," he added.
Most victims were found in Mamuju, but some were also recovered south of the city of 110,000 people in West Sulawesi province.
Friday's tremor triggered panic among residents of the island, which was hit by a 2018 quake-tsunami disaster that killed thousands.
"All I had in my mind was that I would die... Everyone was panicking." Authorities have not given a figure for how many survivors have been rescued.