7.5 magnitude quake triggers tsunami in Indonesia, kills dozens

7.5 magnitude quake triggers tsunami in Indonesia, kills dozens

At least 30 people were killed when a strong natural disaster and tsunami hit the city of Palu on Indonesia's Sulawesi island on Friday, a hospital official told Metro TV in a report broadcast on Saturday.

In Palu - home to 350,000 people - partially covered bodies lay near the shore after waves hit the coast Friday.

The 7.5 magnitude quake triggered a 10-foot high tsunami which smashed into the city of Palu.

There were also concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start on Friday evening, the agency said.

The tsunami that hit two cities in Sulawesi swept away buildings and pulverised a substantial bridge, dumping victims caught in its relentless path across a devastated landscape that rescuers were struggling to reach on Saturday.

"We're particularly concerned about the impact of the natural disaster on children, who are more vulnerable to being swept away in tsunamis", said Tom Howells, of Save the Children.

More than 400 people were confirmed killed, many swept away as tsunami waves triggered by a massive natural disaster crashed into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and authorities expected the toll to rise sharply on Sunday as news arrives from remote areas.

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Thousands of buildings collapsed and evacuations were still underway Saturday in Palu City in the Donggala region of Sulawesi, Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said.

Video shows people screaming and fleeing in panic.

The tsunami smashed into buildings and a large mosque that had already been damaged in the quake.

"The tsunami didn't come by itself, it dragged cars, logs, houses...it hit everything on land", he added.

Relief efforts are being hampered by power cuts and damage to roads and other infrastructure. "All national potential will be deployed, and tomorrow morning we will deploy Hercules and helicopters to provide assistance in tsunami-affected areas".

The first quake tremors were felt on Friday in Palu.

No South Africans have been reported missing in a powerful natural disaster and tsunami that have hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi‚ the department of global relations and cooperation (Dirco) says.

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"Many bodies were found along the shoreline because of the tsunami, but the numbers are still unknown", said Nugroho in a news briefing in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

"It is not just the people in the large urban areas".

Some of the injured, including Dwi Haris, who suffered a broken back and shoulder, rested outside Palu's Army Hospital, where patients were being treated outdoors due to continuing strong aftershocks. The series of earthquakes were felt in an area with 2.4 million people. "Avoid the slopes of hills".

Palu airport has been closed and the drive to the nearest airport is between 10-12 hours.

According to CNN, there's concern that some of the more rural areas affected by the quake and tsunami may not receive help in time, as Palu airport has been shut down, and the closest usable airport is at least a 10 hour drive from the city.

At least 384 people have been killed in the quake.

Nina, a 23-year-old woman who goes by one name, was working at a laundry service shop not far from the beach when the quake hit.

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