Fears grow that more than 1,000 still missing in Indonesia disaster

The KM Sabuk Nusantara 39 ship is seen stranded on the shore after the earthquake and tsunami hit an area in Wani Donggala Central Sulawesi Indonesia

The KM Sabuk Nusantara 39 ship is seen stranded on the shore after the earthquake and tsunami hit an area in Wani Donggala Central Sulawesi Indonesia

Indonesia is to launch a new plan for disaster risk management, resilience and transfer, with catastrophe bonds eyed as one potential financing tool, as the country begins the recovery from a number of earthquakes and the recent devastating Sulawesi quake and tsunami.

After days of initial chaos and looting by desperate survivors, some stability has returned to Palu, with shops slowly reopening and electricity restored in some parts of the city.

By Thursday, the official death toll stood at 1,424, but it will certainly rise as bodies were still being recovered in Palu, where most of the dead have been counted. He said security will be necessary for economic activity to resume.

Electricity was restored and some shops reopened in Indonesia's quake and tsunami stricken city of Palu on Thursday, but the fate of many thousands of people in outlying districts was unknown almost a week after the disaster struck. So far, not all of the basic needs has been provided, he said.

"The scale of the relief effort required following last week's natural disaster and tsunami is becoming increasingly apparent, and there are many people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance".

Altogether, the badly affected areas in the disaster zone includes some 1.4 million people.

More than 50 Australian medical professionals will provide emergency health support, as the government talks to Indonesia about what else might be needed.

"There are so many challenges with this disaster, it's never been so bad", said Frida Sinta, an aid volunteer trying to get help out to fellow residents of Palu.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters in Washington: "We will be working very closely with the Indonesian government to make sure that the support we are providing is highly targeted".

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Structures have been totally wiped out after a massive quake and tsunami hit Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

"There is still limited information about the full extent of the disaster and it is hard to get aid and people into the affected areas", Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the main United Nations aid coordinating agency, OCHA, said in Geneva on Tuesday.

Global volunteers said many camps lack adequate sanitation, sparking fears of the spread of disease.

The chanting marked the end of a day filled with prayers and more burials as many survivors leaned on their faith to help them overcome grief and confusion.

"He was still alive then, but he died because the evacuation was so slow", said Bambang, who like many Indonesians uses one name.

He says how many plane loads of aid fly from Darwin will depend on future Indonesian requests for help.

A girl, estimated to be 4 years old, who was dropped off outside a military hospital is pictured in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 5, 2018.

Among those gathered at the airport in Palu was Fitriani, one of a group of students hoping to leave for an Islamic competition in far-off Medan, on the island of Sumatra.

"Twelve people in this area haven't yet been found", Mohammad ThahirTalib told AFP.

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