Earthquake, tsunami kills at least hundreds in Indonesia, dozens missing

A department store building is seen heavily damaged by quake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

JAKARTA, Indonesia-Morning broke Saturday to reveal that scores of people were killed in an quake and tsunami the previous evening on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, disaster officials said.

After a 7.5-magnitude natural disaster yesterday evening, a tsunami engulfed the coastal city of Palu in Indonesia, home to 350,000 people.

Nugroho said the tsunami had struck with a speed of 800 kmph (497 mph), destroying buildings and infrastructure.

Nugroho described the damage as "extensive" and said bodies of some victims were found trapped between rubble of collapsing buildings.

The runway at the city's airport has been left cracked and its control tower damaged but Mr Nugroho said essential aircraft can land through AirNav, which oversees aircraft navigation.

Giving its first official death toll, Indonesia's national disaster agency said at least 48 people had been killed in Palu, while so far another 356 people had been injured.

An natural disaster measuring 7.7 on the Richter magnitude scale rocked Central Sulawesi.

After the 7.5 quake struck, television footage showed people running into the streets. Hundreds more were injured, with thousands of homes destroyed.

After a local hospital was damaged, medical staff opted to treat dozens of wounded residents just outside the building, Sutopo said.

The main airport in Palu has been closed since the tsunami hit.

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Indonesia's meteorological and geophysics agency BMKG issued a tsunami warning after the quake, but lifted it 34 minutes later.

More than half of the 560 inmates in a Palu prison fled after its walls collapsed during the quake, said its warden, Adhi Yan Ricoh. Experts said the long, narrow bay running into Palu, a city of 380,000, squeezed the tsunami into a tight space, likely making the waves more risky.

The quake hit just off central Sulawesi at a depth of 10 kilometres just before 1100 GMT - ly evening in Indonesia -the US Geological Survey said.

A tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 quake smashed into two cities and several settlements on Sulawesi island at dusk Friday.

According to official statistics, more than 2,000 lives were lost but local sources put the death toll at between 6,000 and 8,000.

A cellphone video shows tsunami wave hitting the city of Palu, Indonesia on September 28.

Indonesia's president says he instructed the security minister to coordinate the government's response to a quake and tsunami that hit central Sulawesi.

Rescuers from Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) move bodies of the victims at Wina beach.

The earthquakes collapsed buildings, cut power and covered roads in debris.

Indonesia lies on the Ring of Fire, meaning it suffers from dozens of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions each year.

It comes after natural disasters in July and August killed nearby 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, southwest of Sulawesi.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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