The Indonesia quake-tsunami disaster in numbers

Rescue workers evacuate victims in Sulawesi. Photo: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB

Here are the latest figures highlighting the scale of devastation wrought by Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami disaster:

– The dead, the wounded –

So far Indonesian authorities have counted 1,558 dead from the double disaster on Sulawesi island, while 2,549 people are seriously injured.

Some 618 victims have already been buried in mass graves as authorities race to prevent an outbreak of disease from rotting corpses, while 921 bodies have been returned to their families.

Rescuers are searching for 152 people still believed to be trapped under rubble and 113 unaccounted for, as the government’s tentative deadline for finding any more survivors ticks down.

But fears are growing that about 1,000 people may have been buried in a massive government housing complex at Balaroa, where the sheer force of the quake temporarily turned the earth to mush.

Among the survivors, 70,821 people have been displaced and are now being housed in about 140 locations.

The race is on to get them food and other essential supplies. But the scale of the problem may be much bigger than that.

The United Nations’ disaster relief agency has warned that almost 200,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, with more than 900 communities likely affected.

The World Health Organization has estimated that some 310,000 people have been affected at the quake’s epicentre in Donggala regency, along with 350,000 in neighbouring Palu.

The road to recovery will be long. Hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of homes will have to be patched up or rebuilt, a task made more difficult by more than 360 aftershocks.

– Security forces –

Indonesia’s military has taken the lead in the recovery effort, flying in supplies and evacuating survivors on C130 Hercules transport planes.

Among those evacuated are about 120 foreigners, including 30 from Thailand and some 20 from Germany.

A missing South Korean has been confirmed dead, in the first recorded foreigner fatality, while a Belgian remains missing.

The government has deployed over 3,000 military personnel as well as more than 2,000 police officers.

They are being called on to keep the peace, with looting leading to dozens of arrests and warnings that thieves would be shot.

– Shortfall –

The military will be assisted in the relief effort by international organizations and over two dozen countries who have offered everything from sarongs to geospatial mapping services and planes.

According to United Nations’ estimates, responders will need to supply 571,000 liters of water a day — or enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every four days — and 659,000 square meters of shelter, around one and a half times the size of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

They will also have to provide the region with around 401 million calories’ worth of food a day, or the equivalent of around 1.8 million Big Macs.

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