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1 Oct, 2018 07:08

Hundreds of prisoners escape during deadly quake & tsunami in Indonesia

Hundreds of prisoners escape during deadly quake & tsunami in Indonesia

More than 1,000 prisoners escaped from devastated detention facilities after an earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia. The death toll of the disaster is expected to reach 2,000 as rescue operations continue.

A powerful quake hit the region of Sulawesi on Friday, triggering a huge tsunami and wreaking havoc across communities. Indonesia’s Directorate General of Corrections said that inmates escaped from three over-capacity detention facilities. 

According to reports, between 1,200 to 1,400 prisoners are now missing from jails. Ministry of Justice official Sri Puguh Utami said the prisoners had run for their lives “because they feared they would be affected by the earthquake.”

The Indonesian government on Monday appealed for international aid to deal with the aftermath of the disaster. 

Some 2,000 people are feared dead as rescuers struggle to reach previously cut-off areas near Palu, local media reported. The official death toll currently stands at 844, with 500 more people receiving treatment, while thousands have been displaced. Some hard-hit areas remain without electricity and cannot be reached due to destroyed roads, further impeding rescue efforts for those trapped in the rubble.

Mass graves have already been prepared to bury hundreds of bodies, according to AFP.