Indian Navy diverts 3 ships to tsunami-hit Indonesia as toll climbs to over 1,234

RSTV Bureau
People survey the damage following earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Rescuers were scrambling Sunday to try to find trapped victims in collapsed buildings where voices could be heard screaming for help after a massive earthquake in Indonesia spawned a deadly tsunami two days ago. AP/PTI

People survey the damage following earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Rescuers were scrambling Sunday to try to find trapped victims in collapsed buildings where voices could be heard screaming for help after a massive earthquake in Indonesia spawned a deadly tsunami two days ago. AP/PTI

The Indonesian government on Tuesday said the death toll from a devastating quake-tsunami on the island of Sulawesi had risen to 1,234 people, up from the previous count of 844.

“As of 1:00 pm there are 1,234 dead,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the national disaster agency spokesman.

PM Modi offered condolences on the loss of lives in the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit the Sulawesi region of Indonesia.

The Prime Minister appreciated the resilience and courage of the people of Indonesia in facing the challenges emanating from the wide spread devastation due to the grave natural calamity.

To aide the country, Indian Navy diverted three ships that were deployed in Southeast Asia to Indonesia for humanitarian assistance.

Following the disaster, the Navy decided to deploy INS Tir, Sujata and Shardul to Indonesia. These ships, on deployment to Singapore, are being diverted to Palu, the Navy spokesperson tweeted.

“Ships being sailed out first light tomorrow,” it added.

Meanwhile, relief efforts currently focused on preventing disease outbreaks and quickly restoring electricity to the disaster area. The death toll is expected to rise as search as rescue efforts continue.

A high-intensity earthquake in Indonesia last week led to a tsunami that has claimed at least 1,234 lives so far, displaced some 59,000 people and caused widespread destruction.

(With Inputs from Agencies)