Indonesia earthquake search and rescue

An official search and rescue effort following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has been called off.

The official death toll from the powerful tremor and subsequent sea wave on 28 September stands at more than 2,000.

But 5,000 more are feared to still be buried amid the rubble after large swathes of Palu, on Sulawesi island, were razed to the ground.

Rescue teams struggling to find bodies amid the wreckage have been hampered by mud hardening and remains decomposing in the tropical heat.

Indonesia’s government has previously suggested closing parts of the city and declaring them mass graves.

Parks and monuments are planned at three of the worst-hit areas to commemorate those who may never be found.

“The search and rescue operation for the victims will end this Thursday afternoon,” said Bambang Suryo, field director in Palu.

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