Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

At least 30 killed as natural disaster, tsunami hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia Indonesia Earthquake, Tsunami Causes Major Damage on Sulawesi Island
| 30 September, 2018, 09:59

In the city - home to around 350,000 people - partially covered bodies lay on the ground near the shore, the day after tsunami waves 1.5 meters (5 feet) came ashore.

AThe 7.5 magnitude quake occurred at a shallow depth of 10km (6.2 miles) just off the central island of Sulawesi at 18:03 (10:03 GMT), triggering a tsunami, USA monitors say.

A tsunami that hit two central Indonesian cities swept away buildings and pulverized a substantial bridge, dumping victims caught in its relentless path across a devastated landscape that rescuers were struggling to reach Saturday, hindered by damaged roads and broken communications.

Rescue teams in Indonesia struggled on Sunday to reach communities feared devastated by a major natural disaster and tsunami on Sulawesi island, with a toll of more than 400 killed expected to rise sharply as contact is restored with remote areas.

A man stands amid the damage caused by a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

Hundreds had gathered for a festival on the beach in the city of Palu on Friday when waves as high as six metres (18 feet) smashed onshore at dusk, sweeping many to their death and destroying anything in their path, following a 7.5 magnitude natural disaster. Their fate was unknown.

Bodies of some victims were found trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, he said, adding 540 people were injured. The wave damaged several buildings, including a mosque.

A massive yellow suspension bridge crossing an estuary feeding into the bay was toppled - either by the quake or tsunami.

Palu is built around a narrow bay which apparently magnified the force of the tsunami.

While hospitals were running at full capacity, tending to the injured, many were treated in the open.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that's home to 260 million people.


Multiple attempts have been made to reach out to Palu's main hospital, but it appears that its telephone lines may be disconnected.

Mr Agung saved guided Batik Air flight 6321 to safety, remaining in the crumbling airport control tower as his terrified colleagues fled.

"We need tents, medicines, medical personnel, tarpaulins, blankets and more of other things", he said.

Nugroho tweeted that Indonesia's military has been mobilized to assist search and rescue teams.

"Don't even think to find the inmates".

"We're now getting limited communications about the destruction in Palu city, but we have heard nothing from Donggala and this is extremely worrying".

Indonesia's vice president Jusuf Kalla said the toll could rise to thousands as President Joko Widodo said he will be visiting the affected areas including Palu and Donggala.

Sulawesi has a history of religious tensions between Muslims and Christians, with violent riots erupting in the town of Poso, not far from Palu, two decades ago.

It lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and numerous world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

In 2004, an quake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

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