The church where more than 80 Indonesian children were studying the Bible has moved about two kilometres from where it stood on Friday last week, before disaster struck.
A 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the west coast of Sulawesi island caused extensive soil liquefaction, a phenomenon that turns the ground into a liquid mire that can flow and skid buildings across the land, and pull victims under.
Bodies of 35 of the children – both boys and girls studying at the ‘Warrior of God’ Bible camp – have been found.
On Monday, dozens of rescue workers, some using an excavator, were searching for 52 of their class mates.
‘I’m not angry, what for?’ said Martin Kebo, the father of one of the missing children.
‘We only hope, as a community, that the victims are found. But it’s been five days and they’ve only sent out an excavator today.’
Kebo said he had been searching for his son, Tegar, though the tangled debris and slowly drying mud, for 12 hours every day since Friday.
‘My neighbours said: “Your son hasn’t returned” and I said: “Yes, what can I do? God loves him more.”‘
The official death toll from the 7.5 earthquake and tsunami waves it triggered rose to 1,407 on Wednesday, among them the 35 children whose bodies have been recovered.
Officials fear the toll could soar, though many of the estimated hundreds of victims of soil liquefaction might never be found.
The Jono Oge church and Bible camp are just south of the small coastal city of Palu, which was hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami waves that crashed into its shorefront.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population but also pockets of Christians scattered across its many islands. Lying on the west coast of the island of Sulawesi, Palu is 1,500 km (930 miles) northeast of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.