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Canada PM Justin Trudeau condoles losses of lives due to Indonesia tsunami and earthquake
Image: Facebook page of Justin Trudeau

Canada PM Justin Trudeau condoles losses of lives due to Indonesia tsunami and earthquake

| @indiablooms | 06 Oct 2018, 02:53 pm

Ottawa, Oct 6 (IBNS): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condoled the losses of lives due to tsunami and earthquake in Indonesia.

According to the Government of Indonesia, the official death toll has reached nearly 1,600 people, amid unconfirmed reports that more than 1,000 people have been buried in a housing complex, in the city of Palu, which suffered the full-force of the deadly tsunami wave.

Trudeau had a conversation with Indonesia Joko Widodo.

The Prime Minister tweeted, "There are simply no words to describe the loss of life & destruction caused by last month’s earthquake & tsunami in Indonesia. On a call with President Widodo today, I expressed our condolences for all those who were killed, injured & displaced, and offered our continued support."

Drinking water has been identified as one of the most urgent needs in Donggala, one of the worst-affected districts on the island, along with shelter, healthcare and psychosocial support.

In other areas, electricity has been restored and markets have reopened. In the most badly affected places, however, access is still a significant obstacle, said Paul Dillon, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM): “Part of the problem is that the areas that are closest to the tsunami; where the tsunami hit hardest, are literally buried in mud.”

“You have people circling those areas trying to get in but it’s literally inaccessible”, he said, adding that even standing just 200 metres from the remains of buildings “you can’t actually get into those areas because the mud is thigh- or waist-deep.”

Help has now reached some of the worst-affected communities including in Sigi, Palu and Donggala districts. But needs remain critical according to rescuers, including in the town of Banawa, said a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“They’ve described this as the worst affected area,” said Matthew Cochrane. “All houses built along the coastline were swept away by the tsunami. Those who survived have sought shelter in the surrounding hills and their most urgent needs include emergency healthcare, shelter, blankets and diapers. There’s a lot of kids there apparently.”

In coordination with the Government of Indonesia, IOM is preparing to send an aid convoy from the south of the island to the north, where needs are greatest.

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