Quake, tsunami deaths at 1,763; 5,000 missing

This pitcture shows a damaged mosque and houses at the Balaroa village in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on 7 October 2018, following the 28 September earthquake and tsunami. Aid poured into disaster-ravaged Palu after days of delays as efforts ramped up to reach 200,000 people in desperate need following a deadly quake-tsunami in the Indonesian city. (AFP photo)

PALU, Indonesia — Indonesia’s disaster agency says the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi island has risen to 1,763, with more than 5,000 feared missing.

Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says officials are trying to confirm the number still missing in several villages obliterated when the quake caused loose soil to liquefy, sucking houses into deep mud and burying occupants.

He provided the updated figure Sunday at a news conference in Jakarta.

The twin disasters struck Palu and surrounding districts in Central Sulawesi province on Sept. 28

p: wjg