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#Indonesia: 'I almost got hit by a tree, car & house'

A 35-year-old resident who says she has been living in Balaroa since 1989 says she was sitting in her home with her eight-year-old son when the earthquake ripped through her home.

Some of the damage in the Boloroa village. Household items are still visible in the rubble serving as a reminder that families once lived there. The quake shifted homes a few metres away from where they originally were and sunk at a nearly 4m deep. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

BALAROA - One of the survivors of the deadly earthquake on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has described how she saw "the earth rise up to the same level as her neighbour's roof" during the 7.5 magnitude tremor.

The death toll from the massive quake over a week ago has risen to over 1,900.

Authorities in the country have given themselves until Thursday to find around 5,000 people who've not been accounted for.

It is also understood that talks are underway with religious leaders to declare the villages of Petobo and Balaroa mass graves which would mean flattening out the debris and erecting a monument.

A team of volunteers from the South African NGO the Gift of the Givers has visited one of those areas.

A 35-year-old resident who says she has been living in Balaroa since 1989 says she was sitting in her home with her eight-year-old son when the earthquake ripped through her home.

She says even though the tremor only lasted a few seconds, it felt longer because the house continued shifting hundreds of metres away.

“The ground level rose to the same level as my neighbour’s roof. I almost got hit by a tree, a car and a house that was moving toward us,” she said.

The resident also said she presumed her uncle dead as his body has still not been recovered by search teams of what is left of his house.

As you enter the disaster site, residents are wearing masks from the stench, believed to be a result of decomposing bodies underneath the rubble.

Items such as TVs, couches, beds and fridges are strewed across the ruins, serving as a reminder that families once lived in the area.

An Indonesian resident says he came to the area to search for his friend.

In some parts of the area, there is still wet and muddy ground that is too soft to support a heavy human body.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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