MANILA - A Filipino detained in Palu City is one of 800 people still missing after a tsunami hit the Indonesia island of Sulawesi, the consul general said Monday.
The Filipino had been detained by the Bureau of Corrections since 2011 for a drug-related case, said Consul General Oscar Orcine. He was the only Filipino in the area struck by the earthquake and tsunami, added Orcine.
"[We are] looking for our compatriot. I visited him last month, he’s in good health but after this incident, we are continuing our effort to search for him, to make sure that he is safe," he told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
The Department of Foreign Affairs initially reported that the said Filipino was safe, but Orcine said their latest information was that "all of the detainees escaped because the building was destroyed by the earthquake and the tsunami."
The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and 5-feet high tsunami that hit the provincial capital of Palu and the neighboring city of Donggala in Indonesia leaped to 832 Sunday.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the final number of dead could be in the "thousands" as many regions have still not been reached.
The DFA has expressed its condolences to Indonesia, adding that Manila is ready to extend assistance to Jakarta.