Published: Sun, September 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

At least 384 killed in Indonesian quake, tsunami

At least 384 killed in Indonesian quake, tsunami

One of the biggest was a magnitude 6.9 quake that hit Lombok and the Gili islands southwest of Sulawesi on August 5, killing more than 460 people.

The head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Willem Rampangilei, said late on Saturday the death toll from Palu had reached 420 people, according to news website Kompas.

Wee added that the only Filipino in the area - a detainee serving his sentence at the Lapas Penitentiary - is safe.

One man was seen carrying the muddy corpse of a small child.

Hundreds of people had gathered for a festival on Palu's beach when the wall of water smashed onshore at dusk on Friday, sweeping many people to their deaths.

Palu, which has more than 380,000 people, was strewn with debris from the quake and tsunami.

Over 500 people were killed.

The tremor triggered a tsunami that hit beaches in the cities of Palu and Donggala, officials said.

The geography of Palu Harbour meant that waves of up to six metres smashed the town, and footage from Indonesia's Red Cross shows just some of the devastation, with buildings destroyed and streets lined with mud.

Disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a television interview there are "many victims".

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the 'Ring of Fire, ' an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

The city's airport remained closed after its runway and air traffic control tower was damaged in the quake but officials said they were preparing to reopen to allow aid to come in.

Jokowi also told reporters in his hometown of Solo that he had called on the country's military chief to help with search and rescue efforts. He said others were unaccounted for, without giving an estimate.

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

Dramatic video footage captured from the top floor of a parking ramp in Palu, almost 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the quake's epicentre, showed waves bring down several buildings and inundate a large mosque.

The Southeast Asian archipelago nation is reeling after yet another powerful quake struck Friday, followed by a tsunami, leaving almost 400 people dead and hundreds injured.

"AirNav Indonesia has sent personnel from Makassar and Balikpapan to ensure flight navigation services at Palu airport will run well in order to maximise the recovery process after the quake", said Mr Yohanes.

The cities of Donggala and Mamuju, near Palu, were also ravaged, but little information was available due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications. "We don't even have time yet to report this incident to our superiors", he said.

In 2004, an natural disaster 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. Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

But Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, a geologist with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said the Sulawesi event is more complicated.

President Buhari told the Indonesian government that "my administration and the entire people of Nigeria are with you at this difficult and tough moment when you struggle hard to minimise the impact of this tragedy and in your efforts to provide temporary relief and comfort to the affected victims".

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