Indonesia yesterday extended for a day the search for victims of a 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami on Sulawesi island at the request of relatives of the many still missing, the national disaster mitigation agency said.
Some 10,000 rescuers toiled on what would have been the final day of searching the ruins of the seaside city of Palu, hit on Sept. 28 by the double disaster, as relatives hoped their loved ones could be found and given a proper burial.
But a spokesman for the disaster agency told a briefing in Jakarta the search would go on until this evening.
The official death toll was raised to 2,073. No one knows how many people have yet to be found in Palu's ruined neighbourhoods but it could be as many as 5,000, the disaster agency says.
If any reminder were needed of Indonesia's treacherous tectonics, a magnitude 6 quake struck off Java and Bali islands early yesterday, killing three people in Java, damaging buildings and sparking panic.
The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are being held this week on Bali and attended by more than 19,000 delegates and other guests, including ministers, central bank heads and some country leaders.
In Palu, on the west coast of Sulawesi, hundreds of kilometres northeast of Bali, survivors waited for news by the debris that has entombed their relatives as workers in orange hard hats and excavators worked.