French rescue team in Indonesia: SIX DAYS after quake struck.
A French rescue team says it has found a survivor in the rubble six days after an earthquake struck in Indonesia.
The person was located in Palu, one of the areas worst affected by the 7.5 magnitude quake.
They were found with the use of a high-tech scanner in the rubble of a hotel.
Philip Besson, a member of the French organisation Pompiers de l’urgence, said the team “detected the presence of a victim” in the wreckage of the Mercure Hotel but wasn’t able to say if the person is conscious.
Besson said the team was unable to reach the victim, who was trapped under thick concrete. The team only had a hand drill and stopped digging as night fell. Besson said it will bring heavy equipment early Friday to try and rescue the person.
The earthquake caused a deadly tsunami to strike killing over 1,424 people however there are firms that this number could climb as officials continue to search for survivors.
Thousands of people are sleeping in tents or in rough shelters made from debris and some are unsure when they’ll be able to rebuild.
The United Nations announced a $15 million (£11.5 million) allocation to support relief efforts, saying more than 200,000 people were in dire need of assistance.
More than 70,000 homes are thought to have been wrecked by the quake, demolished by the tsunami or engulfed by mud slides.
People and heavy machinery were struggling to unearth victims from expanses of earth that surged sideways due to liquefaction, a phenomenon in which an earthquake turns loose, wet soil into quicksand-like mud. Several communities were wiped out as homes suddenly sank into the mire, which has since hardened in the tropical sun.
Many victims might have survived with faster help, said Palu resident Bambang. He told local television he found a friend injured and trapped under debris but was unable to help him. The friend died, leaving a message to have him buried in front of his church, he said.
“He was still alive then, but he died because the evacuation was so slow,” said Bambang.
Palu has repeatedly been hit by the quakes and tsunamis that plague much of the Indonesian archipelago.
The national disaster agency said more than 148 million Indonesians are at risk in earthquake-prone areas and 3.8 million people also face danger from tsunamis, with at most a 40-minute window for warning people to flee.