Indonesia tsunami: Death toll jumps as rescuers struggle

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Indonesia tsunami: Death toll jumps as rescuers struggle

The toll from an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has soared to more than 1,234 with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help.

Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of two hotels and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six meters (20 feet) following the magnitude 7.5 earthquake on Friday.

A young woman was pulled alive from the rubble of the city’s Roa Roa Hotel, where up to 60 people were believed trapped. Hundreds of people gathered at the wrecked mall searching for loved ones.

With most of the confirmed deaths from Palu, authorities are bracing for much worse as reports filter in from outlying areas, in particular, Donggala, a region of 300,000 people north of Palu and closer to the epicentre of the quake, and two other districts.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the toll could rise into the thousands.

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