world

'Smells of death': The days after a disaster

Photographs by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

Published October 10, 2018

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

The stench is at its most putrid around the mass grave and morgue.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Photographer Jewel Samad said the sweltering temperatures — which have daily soared into the low 90s, with stifling humidity — don’t help.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Samad arrived in Palu, Indonesia, in the days after an earthquake and tsunami sent a massive wave crashing onto the city of 330,000, wiping out infrastructure and many buildings along the coast.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

The disaster has killed more than 1,400 people, according to the latest tally. More than 60,000 are displaced. Nearly 100 people remain missing.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Parts of the coastline look like the scene of a massive explosion. Boards and pieces of siding and tin roof are strewn up and down the beaches.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most disturbing scenes Samad has documented is the mass grave, where Indonesian troops are taking victims they can’t identify.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Men in camouflage dragged brightly colored body bags to the grave. An overhead shot shows dozens of bodies.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Many residents have left the area or are making efforts to leave. Hundreds more reside in camps, and others are setting up makeshift camps in yards, parks or in the courtyard of a local mosque.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Samad also covered the aftermath of the 2004 Aceh earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 250,000 people. He thinks Palu is in a “much better scenario than Aceh.”

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

“It’s getting better. It’s looking up.”

Jewel Samad

Agence France-Press photographer

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Jewel Samad is a photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is represented by Agence France-Press.

Photo editors: Sarah Tilotta and Bernadette Tuazon

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images