Indonesia is preparing a mass grave to bury its dead in the aftermath of the deadly 7.5-magnitude earthquake, which triggered a tsunami in Palu last week. For health and religious reasons, 300 bodies, which have been identified, will be initially buried. As death toll rose to 844 on Monday, officials warned that it is likely to climb much higher. Most casualties are from Palu, as the situation in outlying areas like Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong, is yet to be ascertained.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who visited the region over the weekend, said there are many challenges hampering rescue efforts. “We have to do many things soon, but the condition does not allow us to do so,” he was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. Palu has a population of 3,80,000 people, while the outlying areas comprise 1.2 million residents.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Sulawesi island on Friday evening, which is about 50 miles north of Palu. It triggered waves as high as six metres (20 feet), which bore down on the city destroying everything in its path and killing hundreds.