Tsunami Hits Indonesia, Leaving More Than 300 Dead
Hospitals and rescuers are struggling to deal with the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that triggered an unexpected tsunami in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, killing at least 384 people.
Indonesian disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said bodies of some victims were found trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, adding 540 people were injured and 29 were missing, according to Reuters.
Authorities said that "tens to hundreds" of people were by the ocean in the hard-hit city Palu for a beach festival when the tsunami struck on Friday just after 5:02 PM Western Indonesian Time.
"The tsunami didn't come by itself, it dragged cars, logs, houses, it hit everything on land," Nugroho told reporters.
Nugroho tweeted that Indonesia's military has been mobilized to assist search and rescue teams.
83 personel TNI dan bantuan barang seberat 6.943 Kg dikirim ke Palu menggunakan pesawat Hercules. Barang yang diangkut:
1.Tenda Pleton = 3 Unit
2. Velbed = 83 Unit
3. Alat Operasi
4. Genset = 1 Unit pic.twitter.com/b0NOUwCwsy
Yenni Suryani, Catholic Relief Services' country manager in Indonesia, said that this number "doesn't yet account for anyone who might have been swept to sea by the tsunami."
"I'm worried about people who might have been washed away," she added.
Nugrogo tweeted photos of local hospitals that are overflowing with the injured. Many people are being treated in makeshift medical tents set up out on the streets.Enlarge this image
Medical team members help patients outside a hospital after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018. Muhammad Rifki /AFP/Getty Images hide captiontoggle caption Muhammad Rifki /AFP/Getty Images
Medical team members help patients outside a hospital after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018.Muhammad Rifki /AFP/Getty Images
Multiple attempts have been made to reach out to Palu's main hospital, but it appears that its telephone lines may be disconnected.
Dramatic videos show rising waves smashi ng into buildings and people running away in fear.
Detik-detik saat tsunami menerjang Pantai Palu pada 28/9/2018 sore pascagempa 7,7 SR mengguncang Donggala. Tinggi tsunami sekitar 3 meter. Permukiman di sekitar pantai hancur disapu tsunami. pic.twitter.com/GnxecozDKkâ" Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) September 28, 2018
Other footage has shown the aftermath: destroyed buildings and body bags lying in the street.Enlarge this image
A man looks for his belongings amid the debris of his destroyed house in Palu after a strong earthquake and tsunami struck the area. Bay Ismoyo /AFP/Getty Images hide captiontoggle caption Bay Ismoyo /AFP/Getty Images
A man looks for his belongings amid the debris of his destroyed house in Palu after a strong earthquake and tsunami struck the area.Bay Ismoyo /AFP/Getty Images
Several mosques, a shopping mall and many houses have collapsed, according to the CRS. The impact is significant, but the scope of the destruction is unclear because communications are down and emergency teams have not reached all affected areas.
Palu's airport also suffered damages, its runway badly cracked from the quake.
The Jakarta Post reported that one of the air traffic controllers, Anthonius Gunawan Agung, 21, died after he jumped off the traffic control tower when the earthquake hit the area.
Telah wafat saat menjalankan tugasnya sebagai personel layanan navigasi penerbangan, Saudara Anthonius Gunawan Agung, Air Traffic Controller (ATC) AirNav Indonesia Cabang Palu pada Sabtu (29/09).#RIPAgung #DoaUntukSulteng#PrayforDonggala #PrayforPalu pic.twitter.com/6Wpobp3R7mâ" AirNav Indonesia (@AirNav_Official) September 29, 2018
His colleagues had evacuated the tower when they felt the trembling, but he stayed behind to ensure that an airplane safely took off, Air Nav Indonesia, the agency that oversees aircraft navigation, said in a statement.
Nugroho said that the casualties and the damage could be greater along the coastline 190 miles north of Palu in a regency called Donggala, which is closer to the epicenter of the quake.
Communications "were totally crippled with no information" from Donggala, he added. More than 600,000 people live in Donggala and Palu.
NPR's Anthony Kuhn tells our Newscas t unit that this is the most serious quake to hit Indonesia since August, when a series of tremors killed hundreds on Lombok Island.Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia