Indonesian Rescue workers ended their search for earthquake’s victims on Tuesday as the death toll climbed to more than 2,000 people.
Sulawesi Island, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Indonesia, was hit by a 7.5 magnitude quake tsunami two weeks ago.
On the west coast of Sulawesi, hundreds of kilometres northeast of Bali, the official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that hit the seaside city of Palu on September 28th reached 2,045.
Nearly 10,000 rescuers worked for a final day as families of the missing lost hope that the bodies of their loved ones could be found and given a burial.
“I don’t have any tears left, all I want is to find them,” said Ahmad, 43, a farmer who was waiting near a pile of debris that used to be home in Palu’s Balaroa neighbourhood.
According to Reuters, his wife and two daughters are missing in the ruins.
No one knows how many people have yet to be found in Balaroa and other neighbourhoods, but it could be as many as 5,000 according to estimates by the national disaster mitigation agency.
Rescue teams are working with residents in an attempt to identify where victims could be. However, this is now mostly guesswork because of how far the ground moved during liquefaction.
“We hope the families understand that there’s very little hope at this point,” said search volunteer Hadrianos Poliamar.