Powerful earthquakes and tsunami force 62,300 people to evacuate (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The international community continued to provide relief aid for Indonesia whose Central Sulawesi province was hardly hit by strong earthquakes and tsunami ten days ago.

As of October 6 afternoon, the death toll by the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami climbed to 1,649, while about 5,000 others remained unaccounted for, and 2,549 injured. Nearly 67,000 houses were damaged, and over 62,300 people were forced to be evacuated.

Indonesia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir said that to date, 22 nations have committed to supporting victims. Indonesia has also allowed planes of 18 countries to transport relief.

Relief goods from Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand arrived in Palu city after two days awaiting in Balikpapan.

Japan sent 51 disaster management officials and 8 tonnes of relief goods to help Indonesia overcome the disaster consequences. In addition, the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided 500 tents, 20,000 water purifiers and 80 generators for Indonesia, while 20 Japanese companies committed aid worth 330,000 USD to for the victims.

The United Kingdom also vowed to provide assistance worth 7.5 million USD, including mineral water, tents, sanitary equipment, and solar lamps, for Indonesia.

Fachir said that around 16.3 million USD was also committed to Indonesia, including 10 million USD from Venezuela, 1.5 million EUR (1.7 million USD) from the European Union, 200,000 USD from China, 100,000 USD from Vietnam and 100,000 USD from Laos.

Central Sulawesi was ravaged by two devastating quakes measuring 6.1 and 7.5 on the Richter scale on September 28. The second was followed by giant tsunami waves on the afternoon of the same day, destroying thousands of houses and roads.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.

In December 2004, a massive 9.1-magnitude earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean countries, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia. –VNA