Local rescuers continued to dig at the collapsed four-star hotel. The French rescuers said on their Facebook page that 40 people, including six workers, were still missing there.
But some residents refused to give up hope.
“I am hoping for a miracle,” said Bambang, who has been searching daily at the hotel site for his pregnant wife.
Thousands of others were injured and more than 70,000 people have been moved to shelters and makeshift tents that have sprouted across Palu, the provincial capital that’s home to 380,000 people, and its surrounding areas. After days of initial chaos and looting by desperate survivors, some stability has returned to Palu, with shops slowly reopening and electricity restored in some parts of the city.
Nugroho said about 67,000 military and police have been deployed to the area to maintain security and accelerate distribution of aid to survivors in outlying areas. Ships and more than two dozen military transport planes, including ones from Japan, New Zealand and India, have arrived in Palu carrying hundreds of tons of food and badly needed supplies and heavy equipment.
Television footage showed personnel loading boxes of food into trucks that will be delivered to outlying areas, where many evacuees are still complaining that aid has been slow to arrive. Officials have listed tents, water treatment equipment, electric generators and disinfectants to fog campsite areas to prevent disease as immediate needs.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who arrived Friday in Palu to assess the situation, said it will take at least two years to reconstruct the disaster zone.
He said the government will ensure that affected children return to school within a month. The United Nations has said some 200,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, are in need of help.
International volunteers said many camps lack adequate sanitation, sparking fears of the spread of disease. Fuel remained another concern, with villagers forced to queue at pumps for more than six hours.
Many villagers remained traumatized as aftershocks continued to jolt the region.
“I grabbed my children and fled to the hills when the earthquake happened. I didn’t manage to take any valuables but we are alive and that’s most important,” Yuli, who goes by one name, said on local television. “I don’t want to ever go back to the village. It’s too terrifying.”