The Jakarta Post
World leaders and prominent figures have sent messages of condolences to Indonesia in the aftermath of the large-scale destruction from a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that rocked Central Sulawesi on Friday that cost hundreds of lives.
“The President stressed that Russia shared the grief of the friendly Indonesian people and asked to pass on his words of sympathy and support to the victims’ families and friends,” the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement on Sunday.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In also expressed his condolences to the victims and families of those affected. “I really hope that the search and rescue activities of lost victims can be carried out smoothly,” Moon said in a statement from the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta.
One South Korean national is among those still missing in Palu, Ambassador Kim Chang-beom said. The man, Kim said, had gone to Palu to take part in a paragliding event and was staying at the Roa-roa hotel, among hotels in the area that collapsed during the earthquake. Authorities are still sifting through the rubble in search of guests trapped inside.
“We lost contact with him after around 4:50 p.m. yesterday,” Kim told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
One Malaysian citizen and one French citizen were also reported missing in Palu, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Meanwhile, from the European Union, high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, offered the bloc’s support. “The EU has already activated its emergency Copernicus satellite mapping service to assist the authorities. We continue to closely monitor the situation and we are ready to mobilize more assistance,” they said in a joint statement.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said she had received an outpouring of condolences and sympathy from her counterparts in most of the meetings she had attended, including from countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and ASEAN.
Condolences also came from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “The United Nations stands ready to support the government-led ongoing rescue and relief efforts,” spokesman for the secretary-general, Stéphane Dujarri, said in another statement.
The BNPB announced on Sunday morning that at least 800 people had been confirmed dead. However, the number of victims was likely to increase as rescue teams had yet to reach all affected areas.