Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Source: AFP/VNA)

 

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he will directly steer search and rescue activities following the earthquakes and tsunami in Donggala and Palu cities in central Sulawesi.

Indonesia has dispatched Hercules military transport aircraft with soldiers and field hospitals to affected areas in Palu.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Affairs Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the ministry has prepared 3,000 servings and six mobile kitchens which are able to make 36,000 servings per day to support victims of the disasters.

In addition, more than 100 volunteers from neighbouring localities have joined search and rescue activities in central Sulawesi.

Suwelasi was ravaged by two quakes of 6.1 magnitude and 7.5 magnitude on September 28. A tsunami happened after the second quake hit the area in the afternoon of the same day.

The death toll from earthquake and tsunami has amounted to 384 and hundreds of injured people remained in hospitals, said the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) on September 29.

Most of the victims are in the central Sulawesi city of Palu, the hardest hit by the tsunami.

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

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2004, a big earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia.-VNA