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Indonesia tsunami death toll soars to 832

The confirmed death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has risen to 832. So far, it is said, almost all the deaths had been recorded in Palu, two days after waves 1.5 meters (five feet) high slammed into the city of 350,000 on Sulawesi island. The vice-president, Jusuf Kalla, has warned that the figure could rise into the thousands. As there were certain hard-hit areas rescue teams could only reach by Sunday night.

Rescuers were scrambling to reach trapped victims screaming for help from collapsed buildings, while looters risked entering shopping malls to grab whatever they could find. Of the deaths, 821 were in the city of Palu, with 11 casualties so far recorded in Donggala, the worst-hit area, which is home to 300,000 people.

Hundreds of bodies have been found on beaches and authorities fear many may have been washed out to sea. Rescue efforts are continuing for dozens of people still trapped in collapsed buildings. All of the victims, coming from local hospitals, have been photographed to help families locate where their relatives were buried.

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