Indonesia tsunami: Aftershocks rock Palu day after disaster

Indonesia tsunami: Aftershocks rock Palu day after disaster

Indonesia tsunami: Aftershocks rock Palu day after disaster

Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of a hotel and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six metres (20 feet) following the magnitude 7.5 quake on Friday.

"Canada stands ready to assist as appropriate to help communities affected by the quake and tsunami".

Dozens of people were reported to be trapped in the rubble of two hotels and a mall in the city of Palu, which was hit by waves as high as six metres (20 feet) following the 7.5 magnitude natural disaster on Friday.

"We managed to pull out a woman alive from the Hotel Roa-Roa last night", Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told AFP. Hotel owner Ko Jefry told Metro TV on Saturday that up to 60 people were believed trapped. Hundreds of people gathered at the mall searching for loved ones.

"We felt a deep heartbreak, may God gives Anthonius the best place beside him, along with other victims of Donggala natural disaster", Air Nav spokesperson Yohanes Sirait said.

"This is extremely worrying", it said in a statement.

Already, a story of bravery has emerged from the tragedy.

Indonesian men walk past the wreckage of a vehicle following earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The region was rocked by a magnitude 7.5 quake Friday and numerous strong aftershocks, including one of magnitude 6.7.

A young Indonesian air traffic controller stayed on duty as the quake shook the building, to make sure one last aircraft escaped Friday's deadly disaster. The agency has been widely criticized for not informing a tsunami had hit Palu on Saturday, though officials said waves had come within the time the warning was issued.

Amid the roar of onrushing sea and terrified cries for help, the tsunami tore homes off their foundations, snapped palm trees and dragged away victims - some preparing for a beach festival at dusk on Friday (local time).

Strong aftershocks continued to rock the coastal city of Palu on Saturday morning, which is home to about 350,000 people on the coast of Sulawesi island. The landslide was caused by liquification of the soil, according BNPB's Nugroho.

Indonesia earthquake: Hundreds dead in Palu quake and tsunami

The BMKG said its closest sensor, about 200 km (125 miles) from Palu, had only recorded an "insignificant", six-cm (2.5 inches) wave, while researchers said it was surprising the quake, which was recorded as a "strike-slip" event, when tectonic plates move horizontally against each other rather than vertically, had generated a tsunami. The water smashed into buildings and a large mosque that collapsed under the force. Reuters was not able to authenticate the footage.

Rescuers have struggled to reach victims as their efforts are hindered by damaged roads and broken communications.

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

"I just ran when I saw the waves hitting homes on the coastline", Palu resident Rusidanto said.

Dozens of injured people were being treated in tents set up in the open.

Photographs from the city on the coast of Sulawesi island showed bodies being lined up along the street, some in bags and others with their faces covered with clothes.

President Joko Widodo had mobilised the Indonesian military and police to assist in rescue operations in Palu and Donggala, and more troops are expected to arrive soon.

"If he needs our help, he'll have it", Mr Morrison told the ABC on Sunday, describing the rising death toll as "horrific".

The disaster agency has said that essential aircraft can land at Palu's airport, though AirNav, which oversees aircraft navigation, said the runway was cracked and the control tower damaged.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

In August, a series of major quakes hit the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing more than 500 people.

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