The latest death toll in the Mentawi islands, which were hardest hit by the tsunami caused by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, has reached 449, according to The Associated Press.
The local government is shifting its focus on providing medical assistance and shelter to the tsunami survivors even as rescue operations continue in the region, BNO News reports.
>> Aid Starts to Flow Into Disaster-stricken Indonesia
Poor weather and logistics, however, are hampering relief and rescue operations.
“Some villages are so remote they don’t have roads linking them, while some have no docks and the water is too shallow for even smaller ships to approach,” Gagah Prakoso of the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency told Bloomberg. “Helicopters are the most effective means.”
Residents of remote villages are starting to complain about the slow response from the Indonesian government.
“The relief from the government is very late. We still haven’t received anything from the government,” a villager from the Munte village told Agence France-Presse.
>> In Disaster-ravaged Indonesia, Aid Slow to Arrive
Update: According to AP, aid work has now resumed following a break of weather.