Five days after a quake and a tsunami hit the Indonesian city of Palu, the death toll continued to rise on Tuesday as authorities said that more than 1,230 people had died. At least 60,000 people have fled the area, and fuel as well as food is in short supply, according to aid agencies.
As emergency workers were still trying to get a full understanding of the disaster’s impact, satellite images taken before and after the tsunami showed the extent of the devastation.
The city’s dark blue bay turned brown, as the tsunami’s waves — up to 18 feet high — gradually receded from the city center, dragging people, buildings and cars along. The quake’s dozens of aftershocks further devastated the region in the following hours.
The catastrophic damage inside the city becomes visible in close-ups that show the tsunami’s muddy remnants along vast stretches of residential areas that housed 330,000 residents.
Similar images have emerged from a number of Palu neighborhoods, including Petobo. Emergency workers fear that many victims are still trapped beneath the mud.
The number of casualties is feared to be highest in residential districts further inland. But the physical damage to bridges, streets and warehouses is especially visible near the coast, including this jetty that was destroyed by the lethal wave that came without warning.
Thousands of rescue workers already reached the area, and more than a dozen foreign nations agreed to contribute to the ongoing rescue efforts.
The rescue workers' focus is now on towns and villages that, so far, have not been helped, including in the region of Donggala, near the earthquake’s epicenter.