Basic services have been restored in most of the area of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi affected ten days ago by an earthquake and tsunami, where the search continues among the debris of some 5,000 missing, official sources reported today.
The governor of the Central Sulawesi province, Longki Djanggola, called on the population to return to normal life after the catastrophe that has caused 1,763 deaths, according to the latest official data, the Disaster Prevention Agency, BNPB, said in a statement.
The spokesman of the agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said that the supply of water, electricity and gasoline has been restored almost in its entirety in most affected areas, where in recent days they reopened banks and markets.
Officials were called back to work today, Sutopo said, noting that the emergency response still focuses on the search for bodies, the care of the 62,000 displaced and the repair of roads and other damaged infrastructure.
Authorities raised yesterday from a few hundred to thousands the number of people who could have been buried by mud in two neighborhoods of Palu, the provincial capital and the worst hit by the disaster.
The estimate is for the neighborhoods of Petobo and Balaroa, where the search tasks that last Friday were extended until Thursday of this week continue.
The natural disaster in Celebes is the worst in Indonesia since the tsunami that swept the province of Aceh in the west of the archipelago in 2004, killing 167,000 people.