Indonesia says death toll in Sulawesi quake rises to 2,010
By Associated Press
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesia's disaster agency says the death toll from the Sulawesi island earthquake and tsunami has climbed past 2,000.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Tuesday the toll had climbed to 2,010.
Nugroho also said the search for thousands of victims feared buried in mud and rubble in the three hardest-hit neighborhoods of Palu city will be halted Thursday, nearly two weeks after the Sept. 28 disaster.
He said authorities will hold prayers to mark the end of the search in the Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge areas, where the quake caused loose soil to liquefy, swallowing houses and burying the occupants with them.
Nugroho said efforts to retrieve bodies won't continue because of the difficult terrain and advanced state of decomposition that made the bodies unrecognizable and could cause contamination.
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