Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says an estimated 5,000 people from Petobo and Balaroa – two villages where homes were sucked into a sinkhole during the September 28 earthquake – remained unaccounted for.
“If they are not found as of October 11, they will be declared missing,” he said.
Some limited searching might still be undertaken but large-scale searches with many personnel and heavy equipment would cease, he said.
Bodies are still being recovered, especially from ruins of buildings in the small city of Palu and from neighbourhoods hit by liquefaction, a phenomenon that turns the ground into a roiling quagmire, in the south of city.
Many hundr of people are still buried in mud and debris in the south of Palu, where neighbourhoods were obliterated by liquefaction and desperate relatives have been seeking help to find loved ones.
Dozens of rescuers removed 34 bodies from one place on Saturday.
Most of the dead have been found in Palu, the region’s main urban centre (AAP)
“We don’t want the community to be relocated to such dangerous places,” he said.
Most of the dead have been found in Palu, the region’s main urban centre.
Figures for more remote areas, some just reconnected to the outside world by road, are trickling in.
A big aid operation is gearing up to help hard-hit communities where some 70,000 people have been displaced.
Australia announced extra aid on Saturday, taking the nation’s total assistance to $10.25 million.
The government says it particularly ne aircraft, generators, tents, water treatment and field medical facilities.
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