14 December 2018

Search for survivors continues in Indonesia

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Ahmed Latama, one of the survivors of last month's Indonesian earthquake and tsunami, is searching for his relatives, though he fears they have unfortunately perished. informs citing AA.

Officials of the Southeast Asian nation announced on Tuesday that the disaster’s death toll had topped 2,000, but many survivors have not forsaken their loved ones.

Many Indonesians have been looking for their lost relatives for over 10 days now.

After surviving the disaster with his wife and children, Latama, 72, is continuing to search for find his brother and brother-in-law despite his advanced age.

On Sept. 28, the day disaster struck, Latama was sitting with his family and before he realized there had been an earthquake he heard people screaming "tsunami" and ran, he told Anadolu Agency.

"My wife was inside, I was waiting for her to come out,” he related.

“Before she came out, the tsunami reached us. I saw my wife, children and grandchildren, and brother and brother-in-law taken by the water.

“I started shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is great] and ran from the water.

"Later I found my children besides me, and asked them where their mother was. They told me she also survived and was taken to a safe area."

Latama, who fled to high ground to save his life, explained that he started looking for his lost brother and brother-in-law after making sure his wife and children were safe.

"I’m trying to find my lost brother and brother-in-law, but I still didn't find them,” he said.

“I heard that they’re dead. It's my youngest brother that I love dearly. I was wounded in many places but what pains me the most is losing my brother."

‘We need food’

According to Latama, the most urgent need for the survivors is food.

"First of all, we need to eat. All the houses on the coast are destroyed. I don't give importance to properties or fancy stuff, all I need is my family to be safe and not hungry. This is the greatest treasure for me."

Official search and rescue operations in the region are expected to end on Thursday.

Over 1,000 victims have been buried in three different mass graves, and families and relatives have claimed the bodies of 934 people who lost their lives in the disaster.

The number of injured is estimated to stand at around 4,000, and more than 67,000 houses have been damaged in the affected areas of Palu, Donggala, and Siri.

2018.10.09 / 21:19
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