The death toll from an quake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi rose to 832 on Sunday, the national disaster mitigation agency said, adding it assessed the affected area to be bigger than initially thought.
"It is horrifying", he told ABC TV's Insiders programme on Sunday.
There were also concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people who had been preparing for a beach festival when the 7.5-magnitude quake struck Friday, sparking a tsunami that ripped apart the city's coastline.
On Sunday morning, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) announced that at least 405 people are dead, 29 missing and 540 injured as rescue teams scoured the ravaged city of Palu.
Looters are stealing items from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive natural disaster and tsunami in the hard-hit Indonesian city of Palu in central Sulawesi as search and rescue efforts continue for trapped victims.
Photos confirmed by authorities showed bodies being lined up along the street on Saturday, some in bags and some with their faces covered with clothes.
Dozens of injured people were being treated in tents set up in the open.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who was expected to visit evacuation centres in Palu on Sunday, said the military was being called in to the region to help search-and-rescue teams get to victims and find bodies.
"We are having difficulty deploying heavy equipment. because numerous roads leading to Palu city are damaged", he was quoted by the Kompas newspaper as saying.
A key access road had been badly damaged and was partially blocked by landslides, the disaster agency said.
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She further revealed, "My father told the producers that we will leave for the day and asked them to think over the situation". I have been a part of this film industry since the last 35 years and haven't had anyone saying such things about me ever".
Officials said aftershocks, the communications breakdown and the power outage made it hard to coordinate rescue efforts. I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall, I think.
She said the charity worked with about 4000 children in the affected area.
"The intensity of the quake in Donggala is higher than in Palu, so we suspect we'll see a high number of victims in Donggala, although Palu has a larger population than Donggala", Sutopo said.
While numerous injured are being treated at local hospitals, according to CNN, at least one hospital has been structurally compromised, resulting in some of the injured being cared for in the street. "All we knew is that 24 guests were successfully evacuated and one has died", hotel owner Ko Jefry told Metro TV on Saturday night.
He was working at Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport in Palu on the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, when a 6.1 magnitude tremor hit, followed by a 7.5-magnitude quake.
"I can still hear the voices of the survivors screaming for help while inspecting the compound", he told local online news portal Detik.com, adding there could be 50 people trapped inside.
- 2016: A shallow quake hit the Pidie Jaya regency in Aceh, causing destruction and panic as people were reminded by the devastation of the deadly 2004 quake and tsunami. Reuters was not able to immediately authenticate the footage. The agency has been widely criticised for not informing a tsunami had hit Palu on Saturday, though officials said waves had come within the time the warning was issued.
Nugroho has said that essential aircraft can land at Palu airport's, though AirNav, which oversees aircraft navigation, said the runway was cracked and the control tower damaged.
This latest quake comes after a series of earthquakes in July and August killed at least 623 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings on the Indonesian island of Lombok, which is situated hundreds of kilometres south-west of Sulawesi.