Detained Filipino missing after Indonesia quake: consul general

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The disaster devastated swathes of Sulawesi island and has left at least 844 people dead.

The confirmed toll of 832 dead looked certain to rise as rescuers slowly reached devastated outlying communities hit on Friday by a 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami waves as high as six metres.

The Indonesian government on Monday appealed for worldwide aid to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.

"We don't know for sure what is the impact", Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told a news conference. "We're trying to get whatever we can from the pipes", he said.

The European Union said it released an initial 1.5 million euros (1.7 million dollars) in emergency humanitarian assistance, while the United States said it stood "ready to assist in the relief effort".

For now, the country is prioritising tents, water treatment equipment, generator sets, field hospitals, medical staff, and aerial vehicles that can land on 2000-metre runways.

Many people had to sleep on the side of the road and patients were treated in open spaces.

Three days after the disaster, the streets of the provincial capital Palu were still covered in debris and bodies thrown about by a magnitude 7.5 quake that triggered tsunami waves up to three-meters-high (10 feet).

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One woman was recovered alive from ruins overnight in the Palu neighborhood of Balaroa, where about 1,700 houses were swallowed up when the quake caused soil to liquefy, the national rescue agency said.

People suffering from a lack of food and supplies were also becoming more desperate.

(Web Desk) - A terrible quake and tsunami hit Indonesia on Friday.

Of particular concern is Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and close to the epicentre of the quake, and two other districts, where communication had been cut off.

A tsunami warning was still sent out - but it appears to have drastically underestimated the scale of the waves that would follow.

Access to many areas is being hampered by damaged roads, landslides and collapsed bridges.

Indonesia's Directorate General of Corrections said that inmates escaped from three over-capacity detention facilities.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) initially reported that the Filipino was safe but Orcine said they were later informed the building of BoC was destroyed by the massive temblor and tsunami that enabled the detainees to escape.

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"This must be done as soon as possible for health and religious reasons", he said. A majority of Indonesians are Muslim, and burials customarily take place within one day. All of the victims, coming from local hospitals, have been photographed to help families locate where their relatives were buried.

Five foreigners - three French, one South Korean and one Malaysian - were among the missing. Almost 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Palu alone, Nugroho said.

The death toll from the twin disasters has surpassed 800 and was expected to rise further, prompting authorities to announce mass burials in a desperate attempt to stave off disease.

Aid is being distributed overland as well as by air and sea, but not all survivors have been reached and there are long queues involved for those who have.

Internal Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, asked on social media about reports of looting, said he had ordered authorities to help people get food and drink and businesses would be compensated. The main airport at Palu was damaged, landslides had cut off key roads while "power is out nearly everywhere", she added. Photos from the region also show people clambering atop a fuel truck, filling up makeshift containers and passing them down to a waiting crowd.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Military aircraft have been evacuating some of the injured Image copyright EPA Image caption A shattered mosque in Palu Why mass graves?

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for seismic upheavals and volcanic eruptions.

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