By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 1: Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed his sadness over the loss of lives and damage to properties in the tsunami and earth-quake hit island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
A devastating 7.5-magnitude earth quake hit just off the islands of Sulawesi at a depth of 10 kms on Friday morning which set of a tsunami bringing 6 metres high waves to the coast line. The erstwhile fishing towns and holiday beaches now lie destroyed by the natural calamity.
The Dalai Lama who visited the country in 1982 wrote to the Indonesian President, H.E. Joko Widodo, “I wish to express my deep sadness at the tragic loss of life and devastation of property, as well as the hardships caused to so many people due to the major earth quake and tsunami that killed many people and injured even more on the island od Sulawesi.”
The Tibetan leader also donated a sum of 50 thousand USD from the Dalai Lama Trust towards the relief efforts.
Official numbers put the death toll to 844 while authorities fear the figure will jump once rescue works uncover more dead from underneath the rubbles. Volunteers in Palu have been instructed to dig mass graves that could accommodate at least 1300 bodies.
Aid convoys are being escorted by police to avoid theft by people who are facing shortages of basic amenities, four days after the tragedy struck the South Asian island.