Disaster relief authorities issued a public health warning for areas affected by the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami on Saturday, October 6. One week after the September 28 disaster, the spread of disease is becoming a major concern. Diarrhea, fever, and trauma injuries are the most widespread of health risks, though water-borne and vector-borne diseases (dysentery, cholera, malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and others) are also likely to increase in affected areas.
Severe shortages of food, water, medical supplies, fuel, and shelter continue in Palu and more rural areas, including Donggala regency. The military and police have arrested nearly 100 people for looting and have threatened to shoot looters. Military personnel are guarding key supply points, such as fuel depots, groceries, and the airport, as well as escorting official aid convoys. However, a threat of looting persists.
The official death toll stands at 1571 as of Friday, October 5, though it is expected to rise as relief efforts continue. An estimated 2500 people are injured and 113 people missing, with more than 70,000 people displaced by the earthquake and tsunami. Infrastructure, including air and land transportation routes, port facilities, telecommunication, electricity, water, and sewage infrastructure, remain damaged and partially or completely unusable.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit Central Sulawesi province at 18:02 on September 28, 81 km (50 mi) north of Palu at a depth of 10 km (6 mi), causing a tsunami around 2 m (6 ft) high that struck the western coast of Sulawesi and Palu.
Indonesia lies within the active seismic zone known as "the Pacific Ring of Fire."
Individuals present in the impacted region are advised to monitor the situation, be prepared for further aftershocks, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities, and not to cross a roadblock without permission. Individuals elsewhere in Indonesia are advised to defer all travel to the affected areas until further notice.
During an earthquake, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), to move away from windows and exterior walls, and do not attempt to leave the building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from any tall structures, such as buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.
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