'Many dead' in Indonesia quake-tsunami: search and rescue agency

'Many dead' in Indonesia quake-tsunami: search and rescue agency

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said "many bodies" had been found along the shoreline of the Indonesian city of Palu on Sulawesi island which was hit by a major quake and a tsunami on Friday.

The quake triggered a tsunami, according to Indonesia's geophysics agency.

Amateur footage shown by local TV stations showed waves crashing into houses along Palu's shoreline, scattering shipping containers and flooding into a mosque in the city.

A man looks for his belongings amid the debris of his destroyed house in Palu after a strong natural disaster and tsunami struck the area. A shopping mall in the paralysed city of more than 380,000 people had been reduced to a crumpled hulk. Many people are being treated in makeshift medical tents set up out on the streets.

She said the tsunami warning triggered by the biggest quake, in place for about half an hour, was lifted after the tsunami was over.

Residents make their way along a street filled with debris after an natural disaster and tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on Saturday.

Communications in the area have been cut due to power outages, hampering rescue and clean-up efforts. A minister said the runway had been damaged but that it was hoped helicopters would still be able to land.

The military has started sending in cargo planes with aid from Jakarta and other cities, authorities said, but evacuees still badly need food and other basic necessities. As a result, hundreds of people were killed in the tragic event.

The 7.5 magnitude natural disaster hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago with about 17,500 islands, is part of the Ring of Fire, an area susceptible to earthquakes and volcanic activity. Another series of strong quakes in mid-August killed at least a dozen on Lombok and neighboring Sumbawa island.

The cities of Donggala and Mamuju were also hit, but officials had not yet reached them.

A 7.5-magnitude natural disaster and tsunami have killed more than 380 people, rescue officials said.

Nearly 400 people have died after a tsunami up to 2 meters high swept away houses in at least two cities, including the tourist resort of Palu.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the death toll could rise to thousands.

Nugroho said the status was unknown for "tens to hundreds of people", including dancers and performers at a beach festival in Palu.

'I heard people shouting Water! "Electricity is out all over Palu", he said.

The massive tremors were felt hundreds of kilometres away and there has been little word about casualties in Donggala, a region north of Palu where at least one person was reported dead in Friday's quakes.

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