Tucked at the end of long, narrow bay between mountain ridges, the picturesque city of Palu lies in ruins after being clobbered by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Friday.
Officials say 844 people are confirmed dead, 90 are missing, 632 are badly injured and more than 48,000 residents are homeless. Palu, the provincial capital of Central Sulawesi, has a population of around 374,000, according to 2016 statistics.
The toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach more remote areas, such as mountainous Sigi Regency and Donggala, a regency and small city northwest of Palu, on the Makassar Strait.
The iconic yellow bridge that crosses the Palu River right at the coast, and city’s “floating mosque” have both been severely damaged.
Indonesian officials asked for international aid Monday, three days after the disaster struck, as rescue workers struggled to find victims still buried in the rubble, hampered by a lack of heavy equipment. Many residents said they had yet to receive sufficient aid.
“There are six types of assistance we need from the international community: air transport equipment for a 2,000 meter runway, which Palu has; tents for displaced people; water treatments; generators; field hospitals; and medical personnel,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, told reporters in Jakarta.