Credit: Indonesian Red Cross
Over 5,000 people are missing from Petobo and Balaroa, as based on reports from village chiefs, the disaster agency has said. Though these missing people are yet to be accounted for in officially released figures, many could be presumed dead after searches have been called off.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said today prayers will be held, collectively, in Balaroa, Petobo and Jono Oge to 'end the evacuation of bodies'.
During a relief brief he said the efforts to retrieve bodies, many entombed under mud and rubble as deep as 3 metres (10 feet), will cease due to the difficulties presented by the terrain and the, unfortunate advanced state of decomposition that make the bodies unrecognisable and could cause contamination, putting more health and safety at risk.
He said focus now will go towards relief efforts, however authorities will not stop villagers from continuing to dig through the ruins for their lost family members and friends.
A massive relief effort is underway in Indonesia with British Red Cross, Action Aid DEC Indonesian Tsunami Appeal and Save the Children among the charities and non-for-profit organisations appealing the public to help raise money for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the disaster.
Along with the devastating death toll around 70,000 people are believed to be displaced from their homes, many families with children are among them.
More than 90 volunteers and staff from the Indonesian Red Cross - another branch of the Red Cross charity - were on the ground immediately after the incidents took place.
Save the Children are also out to help the 600,000 youngsters effected by the disasters and by raising money they plan to distribute tents, tarpaulins and blankets to keep families who have lost their homes safe.
Action Aid are currently on the ground in Palu and has a network of volunteers working in Donggala, delivering essential, life-saving supplies.
In a statement they told LADbible: "Since last week our local team have been involved in the search and rescue effort for those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi. Every day counts, and we urgently need more support to help save lives.
"The scale of damage in the affected areas is huge, so many are still desperately searching for family members who are trapped under the rubble and thousands searching or food, and shelter.
"Our local team is on the ground in Palu and has a network of volunteers working in Donggala, delivering essential, life-saving supplies. We are also conducting a rapid assessment of Sigi, where liquefaction caused a whole village to disappear.
"We will be bringing further supplies to those who have lost everything, including nappies, and dignity kits for women and girls. We are specifically concerned about women and children affected, and who so often suffer disproportionately during humanitarian emergencies."
Featured Image Credit: Indonesian Red Cross