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Indonesians desperate to trace loved ones missing in the natural disaster and tsunami that struck the island of Sulawesi are turning to social media sites like Facebook to aid their search.

Authorities had to bury more than 150 bodies in a mass grave in the city of Palu.

On Monday, Indonesian authorities put the death toll at 844 and expect that it will continue to rise.

Watch scenes of devastation wrought by Friday's quake and tsunami on Indonesia's Sulawesi island.

As shattered survivors scoured make-shift morgues for loved ones, and authorities struggled to dig out the living or assess the scale of the devastation beyond the city of Palu, grim warnings came that the eventual toll could reach thousands. More burials were expected to follow.

Nugroho said conditions in the Balaroa section of Palu were particularly bad because the quake caused the ground to violently heave up and sink down in places, trapping many people under destroyed houses.

Teams were searching for trapped survivors under destroyed homes and buildings, including a collapsed eight-storey hotel in the city, but they needed more heavy equipment to clear the rubble.

Desperate survivors, now facing a third straight night sleeping outdoors, turned to looting shops for basics like food, water and fuel as police looked on, unwilling or unable to intervene.

Tracy spoke to one woman who had been waiting outside with her 8-month-old baby girl for three days. "We do not have any other choice, we must get food", shouted one man.

"We feel like we are stepchildren here because all the help is going to Palu", said Mohamad Taufik, 38, from the area of Donggala, who said five of his relatives are still missing.

One survivor, Adi, was hugging his wife by the beach when the tsunami struck on Friday. He has no idea where she is now, or whether she is alive.

"When the wave came, I lost her", he said. "I was carried about 50 meters".

"I just cried", he said.

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Others have centered their search around open-air morgues, where the dead lay in the baking sun - waiting to be claimed.

As of Sunday, there were no reports of US citizens affected by the quake, the US Embassy in Jakarta told CNN.

"The prison no longer had enough food", Utami said.

This is the dramatic moment that fishermen were forced to run for their lives after a tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the final death toll in the more remote regions could be in the "thousands" since many places have still not been reached.

As Tracy asked her how her family was coping, the ground started shaking as another aftershock hit the battered region.

Save The Children programme director Tom Howells said access was a "huge issue" hampering relief efforts.

The country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, known as BNPB, is working to assist the displaced with shelter, hot meals and other aid.

Satellite imagery provided by regional relief teams showed severe damage at some of the area's major ports, with large ships tossed onto land and quays and bridges trashed.

Mass Organization Yaskum Indonesia Central Sulawesi, whose headquarters is located on Jl.

A double-arched yellow bridge had collapsed, its ribs twisted as cars bobbed in the water below. Indonesia is majority Muslim, and religious custom calls for burials soon after death, typically within one day. With a re-election campaign well underway, he is keen to show that the situation is under control and that this disaster-prone nation has the tools to help its own citizens.

Indonesia, which is on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is all too familiar with earthquakes and tsunamis.

The 7.5 magnitude quake struck on Friday and triggered a tsunami, which caused massive mud slides that have swallowed up hundreds of homes.

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