Underlining a growing sense of urgency, Widodo made his second visit to the disaster zone, putting on an orange hard hat to talk to rescue workers at a collapsed Palu hotel.
In this Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, photo, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, talks to media after visiting the quake and tsunami-damaged Roa-Roa Hotel.
"This is all a process".
The officials say drinking water started to come in, but it still doesn't meet the needs of the people.
Officers initially took a lenient approach to survivors seizing basic goods, deputy national police chief Ari Dono Sukmanto said, but some people have since been arrested for stealing computers and cash.
Chief Air Marshall Hadi Tjahyanto said Wednesday outside a collapsed hotel in the city that his forces were taking steps to ensure that security will be enforced.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a news conference in Jakarta that no residential areas are within the 4-kilometre radius.
The official death toll is now at 1,234 but the figure is likely to be much higher as officials acknowledged scores of uncounted bodies could still be buried in collapsed buildings in Sigi and Balaroa.
Landing slots at Palu airport are snapped up by the Indonesian military, although it was expected to be open to commercial flights from 7:59 am on Thursday.
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About 1,700 houses in one neighbourhood were swallowed up by ground liquefaction, which happens when soil shaken by an quake behaves like a liquid, and hundreds of people are believed to have perished, the disaster agency said.
Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi province spewed ash almost 20,000ft into the sky. The volcanic ash was also not expected to disrupt flights because of the wind direction now. Communications are down and bridges and roads have been destroyed or blocked by landslides.
Aid worker Lian Gogali said the situation in badly hit Donggala district was very hard.
"There is an immediate need for food, clean water, shelter, medical care and psycho-social support".
"It's OK if he's buried in the mass grave, it's better to have him buried fast", said Rosmawati Yahya, 52, whose husband was among those placed in the grave, before heading off to look for her missing daughter. Aldiani said all she has now is her faith.
More than 65,000 houses have been damaged, and at least 60,000 people are homeless. The government has played down fears of looting saying disaster victims could take essential goods and shops would be compensated later.
"The Government of Indonesia is experienced and well-equipped in managing natural disasters, but sometimes, as with all other countries, outside help is also needed", Mark Lowcock, the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement.
The State Department said Monday, the US released $100,000 in initial aid, through the United States Agency for International Development, for disaster assistance.
Indonesia sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", the world's most tectonically active region, and its 260 million people remain hugely vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. That triggered the tsunami.
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