BREAKING: Death toll from earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia has risen to at least 384, disaster officials say. pic.twitter.com/Ri6WSBHdkt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 29, 2018
TRAVEL GAZETTE – INDONESIAN emergency services are rushing to rescue victims of a huge earthquake which has left over 400 people dead.
A tsunami was triggered by the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Friday evening.
Witnesses reported huge waves sweeping through the popular tourist resort of Palu on Sulawesi island. Amateur videos broadcast by local TV stations show waves rushing into coastal buildings, ravaging homes and scattering debris.
This coastal tourist town, which has some 350,000 inhabitants, was hit by a wave of 1.5 meters. Powerful aftershocks continued rattle the area on Saturday, with waves of three meters.
Hundreds of people had gathered on the beach for the city’s anniversary celebration. Many of them are missing.
A man carries body of a child who was killed in the tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, #Indonesia Sept-29, 2018. Powerful earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a 3-meter tall tsunami..! Prayers for people living there.?#IndonesiaEarthQuake pic.twitter.com/HYS2D4m9qE
— THⓂ️ Official™ (@THM_Off) September 29, 2018
The tsunami swept away houses in Palu, the capital of central Sulawesi province. It also struck a smaller city, Donggala, closer to the epicenter of the quake 80 kilometers away.
“Many bodies have been found along the coastline because of the tsunami, but the number is still unknown,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the Indonesian Disaster Prevention Agency.
Military planes loaded with humanitarian aid took off from Jakarta, according to the Minister of Security. The runway and control tower at Palu airport have been damaged, but should be reopened quickly, officials say.