PH sends condolences to Indonesia after quake, tsunami

PH sends condolences to Indonesia after quake, tsunami

PH sends condolences to Indonesia after quake, tsunami

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.

A disaster official said the tsunami travelled across the open sea at speeds of 800 kph (500 mph) before striking the shore and casualties could have been caused along a 300 km (200 miles) stretch of coast, north and south of Palu.

Some people climbed six metre (18 feet) trees to escape the tsunami and survived, he said.

Footage captured from the top floor of a parking ramp in Palu, almost 80km from the epicenter, showed waves bring down several buildings and inundating a large mosque.

In Palu, about 17,000 people have been evacuated, scattered across centres in 24 locations.

Aftershocks continued to rock the coastal city on Saturday.

Hundreds of desperate people in the city of Palu looted supermarkets and petrol stations on Sunday, as an initial trickle of aid into the devastated area failed to relieve an acute shortage of water, food and fuel.

He said: "There was no time to save ourselves".

The city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet.

Earlier Nugroho told a briefing in Jakarta the damage was "extensive" and said thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels had collapsed. Dozens of injured people were being treated in makeshift medical tents set up outdoors, TV images showed.

The Red Cross is concerned for residents living in an area called Donggala, which is closer to the epicenter of the quake.

The nearby cities of Donggala and Mamuju were also ravaged, but little information was available due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications. Officials said more than 380 were dead in Palu alone, and more were unaccounted for.

Indonesia earthquake: Hundreds dead in Palu quake and tsunami

"This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse", the Red Cross said in a statement.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said troops were en route to the area to reinforce rescue teams and help retrieve bodies.

Nearly 400 people are feared dead and hundreds more unaccounted for after a powerful natural disaster shook the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

A tsunami warning was issued but lifted within the hour.

In other footage on social media, a man on the upper floor of a building could be heard shouting warnings of the approaching tsunami to people on the street below moments before the wave crashed ashore.

Communications with the area were hard because power and telecommunications were cut, hampering search and rescue efforts.

The military has started sending in aircraft with aid from Jakarta and other cities, authorities said.

The city's airport has been reopened only for relief efforts and will remain closed until October 4 for commercial flights, Nugroho said.

Per ABC News reports, personnel in the control tower at the Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport fled for their lives when news of the 7.5 magnitude quake came in, but Agung chose to remain at his post to guide a Batik Air flight, which was on the runway at the time.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo tweeted late on Friday evening: "At sunset an natural disaster hit Central Sulawesi and surroundings".

"Canada is deeply saddened by the loss of life and bad destruction wrought by the powerful natural disaster and tsunami that hit Indonesia yesterday", Global Affairs Canada said in a statement.

In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake off Sumatra in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.


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