Warning lifted just before tsunami strikes Indonesian village

April FrancisSep 30, 2018

Supoto said there was "much damage" in the Donggala area - home to about 300,000 people - where the first quake hit.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said United Nations officials were in contact with Indonesian authorities and "stand ready to provide support as required".

Earlier, a 7.7-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sulawesi island.

Writing on his official Twitter account Friday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that he was monitoring the situation and preparing for any post-earthquake eventualities. At least one person was killed in a smaller quake in the area earlier in the day.

A video on social media shows people screaming and running in fear as the wave sweeps through Palu.

But disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told News.com.au that people are encouraged to remain vigilant. Many buildings had collapsed in the aftermath of the huge tremor.

A vehicle swept away by Friday's tsunami is seen stuck under a damaged building in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The tsunami warning was lifted within the hour, but residents were warned to stay alert as a number of moderate aftershocks hit the area.

He said the fate of "tens to hundreds" of people involved in a beach festival in Palu when the tsunami struck was unknown.

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Sutopo said the disaster caused a power outage that cut communications in Donggala and surrounding areas.

This handout photograph taken and released on September 28, 2018 by Indonesia's National Agency for Disaster Management shows a collapsed house following an quake in Donggala, Central Sulawesi.

In 2004, an natural disaster hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, triggering a massive tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries.

In Palu, a large bridge which was a symbol of the city was completely destroyed.

Central Sulawesi was hit earlier on Friday by a 6.1 magnitude quake that killed at least one person, injured 10 and damaged houses.

Palu's Mutiara Sis al-Jufri Airport was temporarily closed for commercial flights after its air traffic control tower was damaged by the quake.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of the country's location in the "Ring of Fire", the arc of volcanoes and active fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

More recently, a series of strong earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Lombok in July and August, killing almost 600 people and injuring more than 1,300 others.

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