Jakarta. A 1.5-meter-high tsunami struck Palu and Donggala in Central Sulawesi on Friday evening (28/09) after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit the area earlier.
Several buildings were reportedly reduced to rubble and a ship was washed ashore, but officials were unable to provide any information on casualties.
The tsunami came as a surprise after the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) previously lifted a tsunami warning for West Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred at 5.02 p.m. local time.
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The epicenter was offshore at a depth of 10 kilometers, 26 kilometers north of Donggala.
The authorities had asked people in the affected area to remain on the alert as several moderate aftershocks are expected.
The BMKG later revised the earthquake to magnitude 7.4. and said aftershocks of magnitudes of up to 6.1 followed the main event.
“Witnesses reported that the surface of the sea rose by up to 1.5 meters on the Palu coast,” BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday evening.
She did not explain how long the tsunami lasted.
At least one person died and 10 others were injured, while several buildings were damaged in the main tremor, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said. All the victims were hit by collapsing walls.
State-owned flight navigation service AirNav issued a notification on the 24-hour closure of Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport in Palu until 7.20 p.m. on Saturday due to the disaster.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said telecommunication services in Donggala and affected areas have been cut off due to an electricity blackout after the main quake.
“Telecommunication operators have been trying to use mobile backup power to reactivate the telecommunication network,” Minister Rudiantara said in a press statement on Friday night.
er Major Quake Hits Sulawesi