At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

However, he died before the helicopter transporting him could reach its destination.

Residents make their way along a street full of debris after an quake and tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018.

The nearby city of Donggala and the town of Mamuju were also ravaged by the magnitude 7.5 quake and tsunami but had not yet been reached by aid due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

Indonesia's disaster agency says the fate of "tens to hundreds" of people involved in a beach festival is unknown after the area was struck by a tsunami.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Nugroho declined to give an official death toll. Roads were impassable, cut off by debris and landslides, and communications were almost impossible.

A man stands amid the damage caused by a tsunami in Palu. Moments later, the city of Palu was slammed by waves from a tsunami, destroying buildings and killing almost 400 people.

Numerous earthquakes have struck the region in recent months. The biggest, on 5 August, killed more than 460 people.

Hospitals in Palu were swamped with patients who had to lie on the ground hooked to drips.

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"Our own staff have been affected and their own homes damaged". "We are hoping for any help".

To make things even worse, Palu's airport has a cracked runway and a damaged control tower. The main road to Palu has been blocked due to a landslide, and a key bridge is out of action.

"The tsunami didn't come by itself, it dragged cars, logs, houses, it hit everything on land", Nugroho said, adding that the tsunami had traveled across the open sea at speeds of 800 kph (497 mph) before striking the shoreline. Catholic Relief Services' partners were trying to drive to Palu but only got halfway there and had to resume travel in the morning, she said.

Tributes to Agung's bravery were led by Yohannes Sirait, spokesman for Air Navigation Indonesia, who said Agung's sacrifice had potentially saved the lives of hundreds of people.

In the nearby city of Donggala, a large bridge spanning a coastal river had collapsed. Authorities are urging residents to leave home and sleep away from buildings since there are risks of aftershocks.

In Palu, about 17, 000 people have been evacuated, scattered across centres in 24 locations. Last month, a powerful natural disaster hit the island of Lombok, followed by a series of strong quakes throughout the month.

The Palu area was hit by a less powerful quake earlier on Friday, which destroyed some houses, killed one person and injured at least 10 in the fishing town of Donggala, closest to the epicentre, authorities said.

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