Australia has promised an additional $5 million in disaster aid to Indonesia after the country lost more than 1200 lives to both an earthquake and tsunami.
These funds are in addition to the initial half a million given to Indonesia’s Red Cross earlier in the crisis.
The earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed thousands of homes and lives across the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Over 2.6 million people are thought to be affected by the disaster.
The majority of the death toll took place in the district of Palu, but rescue teams are expecting to discover even more dead bodies as they continue to investigate the rubble. A mass burial has also begun in this area.
While in Washington, Foreign Minister Marise Payne revealed the funding support would also involve sending “54 medical professionals” to establish “a temporary emergency and surgical care field hospital”.
She was also open to providing further aid should it be required. Australia has also offered military assets in support.
The situation on the ground in affected areas is particularly dire with survivors, at risk of illness and starvation, resorting to looting to get essential supplies.
As the search continues, the death toll is reportedly rising to more than 1400 people.
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