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Indonesia mulls making quake areas mass graves

Updated: 2018-10-06 17:34

PALU, Indonesia - Indonesia's top security minister says the government is considering turning some areas of disaster-stricken Sulawesi island into mass graves.

A victim of last week's earthquake is recovered in the Balaroa neighbourhood in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia October 6, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

The security minister, Wiranto, says efforts to retrieve bodies are problematic in parts of the hard-hit city of Palu, including the Balaroa and Petobo neighborhoods, where the Sept. 28 earthquake caused loose soil to liquefy, causing hundreds of homes to be sucked into quicksand-like mud and burying possibly hundreds of victims.

Wiranto, who uses one name, said heavy equipment cannot operate in such areas because they could potentially sink in the soft mud.

Wiranto said on local television that the government is discussing with local and religious authorities and victims' families the possibility of halting the search for victims in such areas and turning them into mass graves. The victims can be considered as "martyrs," he added.

The powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck Palu and surrounding areas on Sept. 28 left at least 1,649 people dead.



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