June 17, 2019
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UN chief praises Indonesia for Sulawesi quake, tsunami response

Jakarta, Oct 11 (efe-epa).- The Secretary General of the United Nations on Thursday praised Indonesia's response in the aftermath of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Sulawesi island that left more than 2,000 dead and some 5,000 missing.

Antonio Guterres met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in the Bali island and expressed his condolences toward those who were affected by the tragedy.

Guterres, set to visit the most severely affected Palu region on Friday, lauded the resilience of the people and swift response by authorities, said foreign minister Retno Marsudi, who was also present at the meeting, according to a statement released by the presidential office.

The Indonesian archipelago is situated within the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", an area known for its intense seismic and volcanic movements, which produce about 7,000 earthquakes, mostly moderate, each year.

On Sep. 28, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake had rocked the coast of Sulawesi island, causing a tsunami that affected several cities in the region.

The official death toll in the tragedy stands at 2,073, whereas around 5,000 people are estimated to be still missing from the Balaroa neighborhood in Palu, and the neighboring settlement of Petobo.

The Sulawesi quake and tsunami were the worst natural disaster to have struck the country since the 2004 tsunami that hit Aceh, in the west of the archipelago, leaving 167,000 people dead.

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