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Jakarta Post

SAR team removes guests trapped inside collapsed hotel in Palu

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, September 30, 2018   /   12:43 pm
SAR team removes guests trapped inside collapsed hotel in Palu National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) personnel recover the body of an earthquake victim at Hotel Roa Roa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Sunday morning. (Basarnas/File)

A National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) team has begun evacuating guests from Roa Roa Hotel in Palu, Central Sulawesi, but as of Sunday morning many were reportedly still stuck inside the building after it collapsed during a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Donggala regency on Friday.

A video from Basarnas issued on Sunday showed team members carrying a stretcher with a body bag on it. 

A report from one of the hotel’s employees revealed that as of Sunday morning only six guests had been confirmed to have survived the earthquake while so far one guest has been confirmed dead.

A Basarnas staff member, Arie Djukifli, said there were approximately 50 rooms filled with guests during the time of the earthquake. Basarnas has evacuated guests who were staying in 24 of the hotel's 50 rooms. However, the total number of persons in each room is unknown.

“Some of the guests have been evacuated and already reported themselves to the hotel management,” Arie said as quoted by kompas.com on Sunday.

Hotel Roa Roa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, before the earthquake on Sept. 28.Hotel Roa Roa in Palu, Central Sulawesi, before the earthquake on Sept. 28. (Courtesy of roaroahotel.com/-)

Nellyani, one of the hotel’s back office staff, who witnessed the building collapse, said she had only just left the hotel to purchase supplies for a hotel event when she saw it collapse in front of her eyes.

“One of our food and beverage service staff, Laksmi, is yet to be found,” she said.

A Jakarta Post correspondent in Palu, Ruslan Sangadji, who survived the disaster despite his house being badly damaged, posted an emergency status update on his Facebook account amid the intermittent telecommunication connection. Besides providing updates on his personal situation, he reported that at least three hotel buildings in Palu had collapsed with guests inside the buildings.

Ruslan, who has had intermittent communication with the Post since Friday evening, said that the hotels were the Sya Regency Palu, the Mercure and Tora-Tora Inn. (dpk)