A powerful earthquake has rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a 3-metre-tall tsunami that an official said swept away houses in at least two cities.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tsunami hit Palu, the capital of central Sulawesi province, as well as the smaller city of Donggala and several other coastal settlements on Friday.
Indonesian TV showed a smartphone video of a powerful wave hitting Palu, with people screaming and running in fear.
The water smashed into buildings and a large mosque that collapsed under the force.
Houses were swept away and families were reported missing, Nugroho said, adding that communications and power to the area were disrupted.
“The cut to telecommunications and darkness are hampering efforts to obtain information,” he said.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 28, 2018
“All national potential will be deployed, and tomorrow morning we will deploy Hercules and helicopters to provide assistance in tsunami-affected areas.”
The region was rocked by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and numerous strong aftershocks, including one of magnitude 6.7.
An earlier magnitude 6.1 quake in central Sulawsi killed several people, injured 10 and damaged dozens of houses.
The chief of the meteorology and geophysics agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said the tsunami waves were up to 3m high.
She said the tsunami warning triggered by the biggest quake, in place for about half an hour, was lifted after the tsunami was over.
Nugroho said the military was deploying troops to Palu and Donggala and the national police were also mobilising to help the emergency response, along with personnel from the search-and-rescue and disaster agencies.