A quake-tsunami has left "many dead" in Indonesia, the head of the country's search and rescue agency said on Saturday, after waves smashed into the city of 350,000 folks on Sulawesi Island. .
There was no official death toll; however the head of the country's search and rescue agency Muhammad Syaugi told leading a media agency that the local staff had found large number of dead.
"Many dead bodies, however we don’t know the exact number. We tend to have found at 2am several dead bodies in Palu," he said.
Photographs from Palu, home to around 350,000 folks on the coast of island, showed partly covered bodies near the shore, the morning after the tsunami waves 1.5m (5 feet) high slammed into the city.
The tsunami was triggered by a powerful quake that brought down many buildings and sent locals fleeing for higher ground as a churning wall of water crashed into Palu.
Dramatic video footage recorded from the top floor of a parking ramp in Palu, nearly 80km (50 miles) from the quake's epicentre, showed waves of water bring down many buildings and inundate a mosque.
The shallow 7.5-magnitude tremor was a lot more powerful than a series of quakes that killed hundered on the Indonesian island of Lombok in July and August.
Thirty of the dead and a number of injured people were taken to a nearby hospital, the facility's director told local media.
"There are 30 dead in our hospital. And cases where we need to operate or need specialists to handle 12, head trauma 9," Komang Adi Sujendra told a leading media channel.
People living many kilometers away from the epicenter, felt huge shaking, that came hours after a small jolt killed Atleast one person the same a part of the country.
The quake hit simply off Central Sulawesi at a depth of ten kilometer just before before 1100 GMT, the USA geographical survey said. Such shallow quakes tend to be a lot of damaging.
"There is also report of several buildings collapsing in the earthquake," national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
"Residents panicked and scattered out of their homes."
Pictures supplied by the agency showed a badly damaged mall in Palu where one floor collapsed in the storey below, whereas different images showed major damages in the buildings and enormous cracks across pavements.
Search and rescue groups are sent to hard-hit areas, Nugroho said.
The main airport in Palu was closed after tsunami and is expected to remain closed for a minimum of twenty four hours, complicating any disaster relief efforts.
Friday's tremor was centered 78km north of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province; however was felt within the way south of the island in its largest town Makassar and on the near island of Kalimantan, Indonesia's portion of Kalimantan island.
The initial tremor, that was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, smitten as evening prayers were close to begin within the world's biggest Muslim majority country on the holiest day of the week, once mosques area unit particularly busy.
Quakes of comparable magnitude will cause nice harm to poorly designed or badly designed structures, together with the falling of chimneys, columns and walls, in keeping with USGS.
Indonesia is one among the foremost disaster-prone nations on earth.
It lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", wherever tectonic plates collide and plenty of of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.
Earlier this year, a series of powerful quakes hit Lombok, killing over 550 folks on the vacation island and near Sumbawa.
Some 1,500 folks were contused and regarding four hundred,000 residents were displaced once their homes were destroyed.
Indonesia has been hit by a string of different deadly quakes together with a devastating 9.1-magnitude tremor that struck off the coast of Sumatra in 2004.
That quake triggered tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, together with 168,000 in Indonesia.
The disaster was the world's third biggest quake since 1900, and raised the sea bed in some places by 15m.