Indonesia extends search for quake, tsunami victims

Indonesia tells independent foreign aid workers to leave quake zone

Survivors in a makeshift hospital in Palu which bore the brunt of the disaster

The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami that hit Indonesia's Sulawesi Island last month has risen to 2,045, authorities said on Wednesday.

"The operations of search and rescue for the victims will be completed this Thursday afternoon", said to AFP Bambang Suryo, head of research at Palu.

The magnitude 6.0 quake struck at 7.44am on Thursday (NZT) at a depth of 9 kilometres.

Another natural disaster rattled the region Thursday, killing at least three people in Java and sending tourists and International Monetary Fund delegates in Bali for a major summit scrambling from hotels.

These next few days, the prayers should be held in three of the towns most affected around Palu: Balaroa, Petobo and Jono Oge.

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"I am so sad, as a mother losing your own child, it is definitely saddening", she said.

Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola told reporters that the disaster relief period will continue until October 26 in order to rebuild infrastructure and help the more than 82,000 people displaced in the catastrophe. "But I think I have to accept that I may never find them", he said.

Balaroa and other Palu neighbourhoods were devastated by liquefaction, which happens when a quake shakes soft, damp soil, turning it into a viscous, roiling liquid.Ahmad's third daughter was badly injured and has been taken to the city of Makassar for treatment. More than 80,000 people are living in temporary shelters or otherwise displaced, he said.

During the summer, the earthquakes had done more than 550 deaths on the indonesian island of Lombok.

Humanitarian efforts have accelerated into the disaster-ravaged city, but the recovery effort was criticised for moving too slowly.

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But earlier this week foreign aid workers were told to withdraw their personnel, frustrating some groups keen to help out on the ground. "We want to help as many as we can", he said.

Disaster agency has put the figure of casualties in Indonesia's multiple strong quakes and an ensuing tsunami on September 28 to 2,010 people with over 5,000 others missing, an official of the agency disclosed here on Tuesday. "But this still needs verification", agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Indonesia suffered a powerful 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami last month on the island of Sulawesi that killed more than 2,000 people.

Indonesia's disaster agency issued a set of rules over the weekend instructing worldwide staff to leave Palu, and requiring foreign donations be channelled through local partners.

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