THOUSANDS of people living in tents and shelters in the Indonesian city hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami are facing an uncertain future, unsure when they will be able to rebuild.

Residents whose homes have been destroyed spend hours often futilely trying to secure necessities such as fuel for generators, seven days on from the disasters.

They are hoping more aid will arrive in the shattered city of Palu and the surrounding Donggala district on the island of Sulawesi.

Some residents have taken to digging through reeking piles of sodden food and debris, searching a warehouse wrecked by the tsunami for anything they could salvage: cans of condensed milk, soft drinks, rice, sweets and painkillers.

The official death toll has reached 1424 with thousands more injured and more than 70,000 residents displaced from their homes. The number of dead is expected to soar as rescue crews comb through affected areas after being slowed initially by broken, impassable roads and other damage.