International desk – The death toll in the earthquake-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 844 as the rescuers struggling to find the survivors into the debris.
Media reports say on Monday that the volunteers began burying victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami that devastated swaths of Sulawesi island in a mass grave.
Some remote areas have yet to be contacted four days after the devastative tsunami hit, according to BBC.
A lack of heavy lifting equipment is hampering rescuers’ attempts to reach people who remain alive in the ruins of collapsed buildings.
Dozens of people are feared to be underneath the rubble of one hotel alone, the Roa-Roa in the devastated coastal resort of Palu, added the broadcaster.
“Communication is limited, heavy machinery is limited… it’s not enough for the numbers of buildings that collapsed,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
Yenni Suryani, of Catholic Relief Services, said aid agencies were struggling to get staff into affected areas as the main airport at Palu was damaged, landslides had cut road links and “power is out almost everywhere”.
Some survivors have been looting shops for food, water and fuel, as they have run out of supplies.
On a visit to the region, the president Joko Widodo urged a “day and night” effort to rescue survivors.
Meanwhile, government officials say some 1,200 inmates escaped from three prisons in the region as the quake struck.
In the hills above Palu, volunteers filling a mass grave were instructed to prepare for a total of 1,300 victims to arrive.
Trucks arrived with bodies wrapped in orange, yellow and black body bags. They were dragged into the grave and motorised diggers poured earth on top, according to BBC.