Australia is to provide $5 million and medical staff to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami. More than 1200 people are now believed dead.

Norma Hilton reports.


The death toll seems certain to climb even higher, and those surviving need urgent help.

Palu residents have turned to looting, desperate for food and water.

And they face disease, which is why Australia is now sending doctors.

Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister: “54 medical professionals from Australia area in Indonesia, establishing a temporary emergency and surgical care field hospital.”

Senator Payne has been in contact with her Indonesian counterpart and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is talking to President Joko Widodo about further support from the RAAF.

Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister: “Things like shelter, water, hygiene kits, generators. Those supplies are currently in Australia and will be transported by ADFC130 to the location.”

Many of the relief and rescue teams have finally reached badly hit districts near the epicentre of the earthquake.

But damaged power lines and roads are making movement difficult.

Still, many people haven’t stopped looking for missing loved ones.

Survivor: “I haven’t found them yet. I’ve looked around and at refugee camps and also at a place where they were sighted but there’s no sign of them.”

Emergency services will be working for months in the devastated area.

Norma Hilton, QUT News.