Indonesia tsunami and earthquake: Rescuers race to aid victims as death toll passes 840

Updated 9:52 AM EDT, Mon October 1, 2018
A resident sifts through debris past the rubble of a mosque in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami.
ADEK BERRY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A resident sifts through debris past the rubble of a mosque in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami.
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Anuwat Kongko, a 28-year-old hiker from Thailand, was on top of Mount Rinjani when the earthquake hit.
 
"I reached the summit [Mont Rinjani] at around 6am along with some friends. Then I spent some time taking pictures with my camera with my friends until 6.47am, when the 1st earthquake occurred. It's just like the mountain was shaking. Everyone crouched on the floor and after it stopped I started to run away from there.
 
"After 10minutes an aftershock happened. Then, everyone was told to move out from there pretty quickly (you can see it in my video). Some of the pathway was destroyed by the earthquake."
 
Kongko said it took them 1 hour to get from the summit to the camping area, and 3 hours from the camping area to the village.
Anuwat Kongko
Anuwat Kongko, a 28-year-old hiker from Thailand, was on top of Mount Rinjani when the earthquake hit. "I reached the summit [Mont Rinjani] at around 6am along with some friends. Then I spent some time taking pictures with my camera with my friends until 6.47am, when the 1st earthquake occurred. It's just like the mountain was shaking. Everyone crouched on the floor and after it stopped I started to run away from there. "After 10minutes an aftershock happened. Then, everyone was told to move out from there pretty quickly (you can see it in my video). Some of the pathway was destroyed by the earthquake." Kongko said it took them 1 hour to get from the summit to the camping area, and 3 hours from the camping area to the village.
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Palu, Indonesia CNN —  

Mass graves were dug Monday as Indonesian authorities rushed to bury hundreds of people killed by an earthquake and tsunami that cracked streets, tore down buildings and washed away homes on the island of Sulawesi.

Three days after the disaster, the streets of the provincial capital Palu were still covered in debris and bodies thrown about by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that triggered tsunami waves up to three-meters-high (10 feet).

Authorities raised the toll again Monday to 844 dead, and warned that more bodies were likely to be found as heavy equipment moved in to clear the rubble.

Conditions in the devastated area are grim, with food and water supplies running low and few buildings sturdy enough to offer safety from any aftershocks.

Body bags lie in an open ditch in Palu, Indonesia.
BAY ISMOYO/AFP /Getty Images
Body bags lie in an open ditch in Palu, Indonesia.

As they waited for aid Sunday, survivors took matters into their own hands, entering shops and wheeling away trolleys filled with food and water. At a gas station Monday, a CNN crew saw people opening up a tank from under the ground and using ladles to scoop up fuel.

Hundreds rushed to the airport hoping to catch one of the few flights out of the area. One man told CNN Monday he had been waiting there two days. A woman said she feared for her and her baby’s safety due as residents raided shops for food and water.

In total, an estimated 2.4 million people were affected by the disaster, Indonesian Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Some 600 people were hospitalized and more than 48,000 have been displaced.