Teenager trapped in quake rubble ‘could have survived’

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The rescue efforts in Indonesia are slowing as the likelihood of anyone being found alive after the earthquake and tsunami diminishes.

Volunteers have been burying those killed in a mass grave as the death toll reaches 1,571.

British humanitarian experts are on the ground in Sulawasi helping to co-ordinate the response, and a plane with supplies including shelter kits and water purifiers arrived on the island on Friday.

Sky’s Jonathan Samuels is in Indonesia, where families are desperately searching for bodies to bring home.

The search for survivors is growing desperate one week on
Image: The search for survivors is growing desperate one week on

A week on from the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami and now the sad reality is that no one realistically expects anyone else will be pulled alive from the rubble.

The pressure on rescue teams now is to recover bodies.

We came across a restaurant and internet cafe, now completely collapsed. Last Friday teenagers were here playing video-games and staff were preparing meals.

Eda had to have her legs amputated at the site
Image: Eda had to have her legs amputated at the site

One of the waitresses was 17-year-old Eda Rapisa. When the quake hit she was crushed under the rubble, her legs trapped and badly injured. But, she was alive.

Her father stayed with her day and night, feeding her and giving her water. When she screamed in pain he reassured her telling her she would be okay.

When help finally arrived, Eda was told that a surgeon needed to amputate both her legs, right where she lay. Then the teenager was pulled free, to much jubilation, despite the horrific trauma she had endured.

Eda died two days later in hospital
Image: Eda died two days later in hospital

She was rushed to hospital, but tragically, she died two days later.

Her uncle Andre K Tandi told me: “I’m angry because the rescuers took so long to come. She was alive, she could have survived.”

The reality is the city was ill-equipped to cope without enough excavators and digging machinery to deal with the scale of the disaster.

low flying drone shot showing destruction in the Petobo area of Palu city, which suffered heavy damage from last week's natural disaster 0:58
Video: Drone footage reveals the destruction in Palu city, which suffered heavy damage from last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

“She was really friendly, a nice person, a really outgoing person,” her uncle says as we stand on the street looking at the destroyed building.

He tells me she was working as a waitress during the holiday before starting college in a few weeks’ time.

Four children died in the internet cafe and seven people died in the restaurant.

Rescue workers pulled survivors from the rubble in the provincial capital Palu on September 30, after a magnitude-7.4 earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province on September 28, killing at least 832 people. 1:02
Video: Rescue workers pull survivors from the rubble in the city of Palu, after a magnitude-7.4 earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia.

One week on and six bodies remain inside.

More from Indonesia

The smell of death permeates onto the busy road.

Even the retrieval of the dead seems to be taking an intolerable amount of time.

From – SkyNews

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