By Mahmut Atanur
JAKARTA (AA) – The death toll from last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has risen to over 2,000, local media reported Tuesday.
According to the Indonesian news agency Antara, military authorities in the region announced that the Sept. 28 earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi Island of Indonesia have killed a total of 2,002 people.
The death toll is feared to rise as at least 5,000 people were still missing, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).
Over 1,000 victims have been buried in three different mass graves, and families and relatives have claimed the bodies of 934 people who lost their lives in the disaster.
The number of the injured was estimated to stand at around 4,000 and more than 67,000 houses have been damaged in the affected areas of Palu, Donggala, and Siri.
Separately, on Tuesday, a magnitude 5.2 quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres with the epicentre 5 kilometres north-east of Sulawesi, said Nugroho.
Search and rescue operations in the region are expected to end on Thursday.
On Sept. 28, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Sulawesi Island, which triggered a tsunami in Donggala and Palu cities that towered up to 10 feet (3 meters) high.
Over the last two months, four earthquakes with magnitudes 7.4, 6.3, 6.9, and 7 hit the eastern island of Lombok of the Southeast Asian nation.
Indonesia lies within the Pacific Ocean’s "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide and cause frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
On Dec. 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck the eastern coast of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed around 230,000 people as it tore along the coasts of Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.