Tsunami Death Toll in Indonesia Jumps to 832

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

But there was a desperate need for heavy equipment to reach possible survivors buried in collapsed buildings, including an eight-story hotel in Palu where voices were heard in the rubble.

A woman was pulled alive from the debris of the city's Roa Roa Hotel, where up to 60 people were believed trapped. "Time is so important here to save people", said Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue team.

One survivor told Reuters she narrowly escaped as the mall folded in around her.

The death toll, largely from the city of Palu, is expected to keep rising as areas cut off by the damage are reached.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the toll could rise into the thousands.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told reporters on Sunday none of Indonesia's tsunami buoys, one type of instrument used to detect the waves, had been operating since 2012. "The three of us ran, but got separated". Communication is still down, power is still out.

Oxfam New Zealand's Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said there were grave concerns the death toll could increase as new areas were accessed.

One woman was recovered alive from ruins overnight in the Palu neighborhood of Balaroa, where about 1,700 houses were swallowed up when the natural disaster caused soil to liquefy, the national rescue agency said.

Five foreigners - three French, one South Korean and one Malaysian - were among the missing, he said.

Amirudin U. Labugis (left) and his family after his house was swept away in a "tsunami of mud" following the quake in Sulawesi. "I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall, I think", said Mr Haris.

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

The government has allocated 560 billion rupiah ($37.58 million) for the recovery.

Looters are stealing items from a shopping mall badly damaged by a massive quake and tsunami in the hard-hit Indonesian city of Palu in central Sulawesi as search and rescue efforts continue for trapped victims. Picture taken September 29, 2018.

The pilot did not realize that just as his wheels lifted just inches into the air, severe tremors from a 7.5 magnitude quake shook the ground causing massive cracks in the runway he had just departed and prompting the controller to jump from the tower as its roof was caving in. The most devastating came on Boxing Day in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including over 126,000 in Indonesia.

Questions are sure to be asked why warning systems set up after that disaster appear to have failed on Friday.

Officials said they estimated the waves had hit while the warning was still in effect.

It was not clear whether the tsunami, which officials say hammered Palu and the surrounding area at extremely high speeds measuring in the hundreds of kilometres per hour, occurred before or after the warning had been lifted. "They can survive for seven days as long as they are hydrated and don't suffer fractures", he said.

Staff reported seeing a coastline marked with devastation caused by the tsunami.

An aerial view of the Baiturrahman mosque which was hit by a tsunami, after a quake in West Palu, Sulawesi.

Dwi Haris, who was in the city for a wedding, was staying in a hotel with his wife and daughter when the quake struck.

Indonesian TV showed dramatic smartphone video of a powerful wave hitting Palu, with people screaming and running in fear. Footage showed some people screaming in anger because they were not able to board departing military aircraft.

Over 380 Dead After Earthquakes Cause Devastating Tsunami in Indonesia
A tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 quake smashed into two cities and several settlements on Sulawesi island at dusk Friday. Footage posted online showed waves of water bring down several buildings and swamp a large mosque in Palu .

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.