NZDF arrives in Indonesia with emergency aid after tsunami

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The biennial drills, which involved an estimated 150,000 people according to United Nations officials, focused on involving coastal communities more in tsunami planning.

A Muslim woman prays during a special prayer for the victims of quake and tsunami at Talise beach in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Oct. 5, 2018.

The city of Palu on Sulawesi island has been left in ruins after being hit by a 7.4-magnitude quake and a wall of water, which flattened homes, ripped up trees and overturned cars.

The chanting marked the end of a day filled with prayers and more burials as many survivors leaned on their faith to help them overcome grief and confusion.

Philip Besson, a member of the French organization Pompiers de l'urgence, said the team's high-tech sensors "detected the presence of a victim" in the wreckage of the four-star Mercure Hotel in Palu but wasn't able to say if the person is conscious.

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With power returning to parts of Palu late on Tuesday and phone networks back up and running, there were some signs of things getting back to normal.

More than 1,000 people may still be missing following last week's natural disaster and tsunami in Indonesia, according to the county's search and rescue agency.

Rescue workers were working against the clock to find any remaining survivors, with humanitarian groups estimating that up to 1,000 people were buried under the rubble.

Rescuers were digging through several feet of mud looking for survivors in the Palu area on Friday, one week after a 7.5-magnitude natural disaster and tsunami hit the region.

Nazara said under the new strategy, starting next year, the government would begin to insure state assets against a major disaster. We sent out three teams, on different routes, with as many supplies as they could carry to ensure we could reach people as fast as we could but the journey has taken days.

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More than 70,000 homes are thought to have been wrecked by the quake, demolished by the tsunami or engulfed by mud slides.

"It is a very severe disaster here that is going to take a long time to recover from", he said. "Indonesians have a big heart".

Global aid is beginning to arrive, including supplies from Britain and Australia, after the government overcame a traditional reluctance to accept help from overseas.

After initially refusing outside help, Indonesia reluctantly agreed to foreign aid, and 20 planes carrying items including tarpaulins, medical equipment and generators are heading from all over the world to the disaster zone.

In 2004, an natural disaster off Sumatra island triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

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