Further Australian support following the Sulawesi quake and tsunami

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"I am hoping for a miracle", said Bambang, who has been searching daily at the hotel site for his pregnant wife. The team only had a hand drill and stopped digging as night fell.

Doctors said many patients have been at high risk of infection because they were buried in mud.

The quake triggered tsunami waves that reached six meters.

The number of people believed missing from the quake and tsunami that struck Indonesia's Palu city has soared to 5,000, an official said yesterday (Oct 7), an indication that far more may have perished in the twin disaster than the current toll.

"We're only collecting data to find out how many students are safe".

Rescuers who recovered the bodies told Hidayat his sister was found holding Aisah close.

"They really need help", said Sidharta.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted a graphic on his Twitter account showing around 450 aftershocks being recorded in the area since the September 28 quake, but they have decreased in frequency and intensity. Children and the elderly were starting to get sick and fuel was also in very short supply, he said.

There was a major push in the region to improve warning systems after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 120,000 in Indonesia alone, including establishing a network of 22 warning buoys to detect tsunamis that was put in place with German and USA help.

The Indonesian authorities and locals at Palu and Balikpapan thanked the NZDF personnel for helping, Natapu said.

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The aid is part of a $3.6 million relief commitment, including more than 50 medical professionals, that Australia made on Wednesday.

Indonesian officials have said the search for victims of last month's quake and tsunami is to end on Thursday - despite the fact hundreds of people are still unaccounted for.

Numerous dead were buried in mass graves because of the overwhelming amount of victims. "Then, we later must decide when the area will be designated a mass grave", he told reporters late Friday, October 5.

The New Zealand Air Force has flown 120 residents out of the earthquake-ravaged Indonesian city of Palu.

Local television reported the 92 people detained were caught with goods including motor oil, tires, ceramic tiles, and farming equipment.

Aid has been slow to reach survivors, and desperate villagers have stormed into shops to grab food supplies.

Hasnah said she has enough food and water but she's furious that a search and rescue operation in her area only began on Thursday. He said security will be necessary for economic activity to resume.

An airport damaged by the natural disaster in central Indonesia is expected to re-open to civilian traffic later Thursday. Numerous missing are believed to be dead as rescue efforts enter its second and final week.

"More than half of my family are gone", Hasnah said as she sobbed.

Britons donated more than £6 million to try and help survivors in the first day of the DEC appeal, and a Japanese military plane landed at Palu's airport on Saturday morning, complete with soldiers unloading tons of supplies including medicines and small portable generators. A hospital ship is also due to arrive.

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