The 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia have left behind a trail of death which is believed to be in the region of 1,200. This figure could increase because many regions are still inaccessible. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered additional deployment of rescue teams to locate victims who might be lying in the debris.

The National NE reports that the city of Palu, located some 1,500 Km from Jakarta, has borne the brunt of the devastation. Many remote areas were isolated following the earthquake that triggered tsunami waves.

The situation has led to fears of a rise in law and order problems.

Rescue teams face difficulties

The combined effect of an earthquake and a tsunami has left the infrastructure of this part of Indonesia in ruins. Communication links are paralyzed with the roads destroyed and blocked by landslides while bridges are broken. Landslides can be costly affairs. President Widodo has directed his people to concentrate on locating and evacuating people. He made mention about relief work on the west coast of Sulawesi Island.

The Red Cross has described the situation as grim.

Donggala with a population of around 300,000 is located north of Palu and close to the epicenter of the quake. The total population of four of the badly hit districts is around 1.4 million. It seems Palu faced tsunami waves as high as six meters which destroyed the beachfront, including hotels and shopping malls. The country has faced earthquakes in the past.

In 2004, a quake triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean resulting in the loss of nearly 226,000 lives in 13 countries. Indonesia suffered a loss of over 120,000 lives.

Humanitarian aid is the need of the hour

According to The Guardian UK, the earthquake and tsunami brought down thousands of homes and buildings including an entire housing estate that was home to 900 people.

It is difficult to assess the toll figures because some of the worst-hit areas remain isolated and inaccessible. The tsunami is believed to have been traveling at up to 250mph as it was approaching land. Scientists are unable to understand how an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude could lead to such a huge tsunami. In their opinion, the only cause could be the rock formation and landslides under the sea while the geography of the bay might also have contributed to the catastrophe.

There is a widespread power shortage and the residents are facing the shortage of essential items like food, medicine, and fuel. Obviously, humanitarian aid has to be expedited to ensure that the survivors can try to piece together their lives.