Deadline approaches for finding Indonesia quake, tsunami survivors

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Global efforts to help survivors of Indonesia's devastating quake and tsunami are gathering pace as concern grows for hundreds of thousands with little food and water, six days after disaster struck.

By Thursday, the official death toll stood at 1,424, but it is widely expected to rise as most of the dead accounted for have been from Palu, while figures for remote areas are trickling in or remain unknown.

Following the quake and subsequent tsunami that struck Palu, Central Sulawesi on 28 September, more than 1,500 people are known to have died and 2,500 people have been seriously injured.

Hundreds of Muslim survivors in the Indonesian city of Palu have gathered at shattered mosques for Friday prayers, seeking strength to rebuild their lives a week after a powerful quake and tsunami killed more than 1,500 people.

The official death toll has reached 1,424 with thousands more injured and more than 70,000 residents displaced from their homes.

Doctors have been flocking to help from other parts of Indonesia.

Save the Children said it has sent more than 1,000 kits to support shelter, hygiene, child-friendly spaces and temporary educational facilities.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was appealing for 22-million Swiss francs ($22m) to help Indonesia.

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The instruction came following dozens of arrests by police involving people looting in the disaster zone around the seaside city of Palu, which has much of its buildings and houses decimated from the natural disasters. The work to retrieve bodies has been hampered by lack of heavy equipment to dig them out.

Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY that water is the main issue because most of the water supply infrastructure has been damaged.

"Please tell the government and the NGOs if they're really willing to help us with some food please do not give it away through the command posts", said Andi Rusding, who was huddled with his relatives under a tarpaulin.

"The Philippines stands with Indonesia during this most hard time and is ready to provide assistance to Indonesia", it said.

"He was still alive then, but he died because the evacuation was so slow", said Bambang, who like many Indonesians uses one name. The US had provided initial funding, deployed government disaster experts and is working to determine what other help can be given, the US state department said earlier this week.

"There is always hope", said the group's president Philippe Besson.

Some power is back on in the stricken city of Palu and some shops are reopening.

"But we still can not be sure because there's a possibility that some people managed to get out", he said.

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