Endless Search for Dead a Week After Indonesia's Quake

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French rescuers who had undertaken a search operation to rescue people who were stuck inside a hotel in Indonesia's Sulawesi Island which got hit by quake a week ago said that they were unable to find any "sign of life" in the place.

"Places have been damaged by the tsunami along the coast", Nugroho said, but he had no details. The national disaster agency says more than 148 million Indonesians are at risk in earthquake-prone areas and 3.8 million people also face danger from tsunamis, with at most a 40 minute window for warning people to flee.

One week since the quake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and still mothers, fathers, siblings, are grieving for lost loved ones they'll likely never find. "It will give the sense of security to the people so hopefully there will be no more looting", he said, adding that all supply convoys into the city will be escorted by armed soldiers.

After initially refusing outside help, Indonesia reluctantly agreed to foreign aid, and 20 planes carrying items including tarpaulins, medical equipment and generators are heading from all over the world to the disaster zone. "It's possible there are more", the 39-year-old said.

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The official death toll has inched up to 1,558 as of late Thursday, with 70,000 others displaced. "They deserve better", Hidayat said as he left Friday prayers at a mosque in the centre of Palu, 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) northeast of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

The Indonesian military was bringing in hundreds more troops to help with search and rescue efforts and keep order among survivors who have grown desperate six days after their lives were thrown into chaos.

The natural disaster has already claimed more than 1,400 lives and Bungay Rotary Club is attempting to raise money to send Shelterboxes to the impacted areas. More than a thousand people could still be missing, officials said, drastically upping the total number of people unaccounted for a week after the disaster.

Indonesia plans to launch a new strategy to fund disaster recovery, which could include selling "catastrophe bonds", a government official said on Thursday, as the country faced up to the devastation from a huge quake and a tsunami.

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Nazara said that the Indonesian government would look to insure its state assets, then establish a disaster risk financing mechanism.

He said the government would provide financial assistance through the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management.

Global aid is beginning to arrive, including supplies from Britain and Australia, after the government overcame a traditional reluctance to accept help from overseas.

A quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

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