Indonesia quake and tsunami devastates coast; deaths top 380

30 September, 2018, 11:15 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • The earthquake and tsunami hit Palu on Sulawesi island

According to CNN, there's concern that some of the more rural areas affected by the natural disaster and tsunami may not receive help in time, as Palu airport has been shut down, and the closest usable airport is at least a 10 hour drive from the city.

Rescue teams in Indonesia have struggled to reach communities devastated by a major quake and tsunami on Sulawesi island, with a toll of more than 400 killed expected to rise sharply as contact is restored with remote areas.

His colleagues had evacuated the tower when they felt the earthquakes but he stayed behind to ensure that a Batik airplane safely took off, Air Nav Indonesia, the agency that oversees aircraft navigation, said in a statement.

Moments after the plane became airborne, the building began to shake violently.

His bravery could potentially have saved the lives of all the passengers and crew on board the plane, as the city was later devastated later by a tsunami caused by the natural disaster.

The courageous controller was rushed to hospital with a broken leg and a number of internal injuries, but he died in the early hours of the following morning. After the plane took off, Agung jumped from the tower because the roof had collapsed.

However, he died before the helicopter arrived. He was just one month away from his 22nd birthday.

Due to the courageous sacrifice he made AirNav bosses also increased his rank by two levels in recognition.

Many locals are too afraid to go back indoors and have chose to sleep in the darkness outside following the residual tremors which have been occurring throughout the day. It was closer to the epicentre.

Rescuers have been digging by hand in the frantic search for survivors in the Indonesian city of Palu.

Ismail said he was surprised a tsunami was generated off the coast of central Sulawesi, which sits on a strike-slip fault, producing earthquakes that typically move in a horizontal motion and do not usually displace large amounts of water.

Some people climbed trees to escape the tsunami and survived, he said.

The disaster agency has not been able to get any information from the fishing town of Donggala, 27 km (16 miles) away from the epicenter of the quake. The town of Mamuju was also severely affected but now impossible to access due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

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The news of his bravery comes as the death toll from the horrific tsunami soars to at least 400.

Mr Nugroho said "tens to hundreds" of people were taking part in a beach festival in Palu when the tsunami struck at dusk on Friday.

The military has started sending in cargo planes with aid from Jakarta and other cities, authorities said, but evacuees still badly needed food and other basic necessities.

AirNav spokesman Yohanes Harry Sirait said on Sunday that Palu airport is now also open to a limited number of commercial flights, but they will be operating under visual flight rules (VFR).

Indonesian president Joko Widodo was expected to travel to the region to see the devastation for himself on Sunday.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned early on of reports showing that "victims died in the rubble of a collapsed building".

Scores of families are still missing among the debris of the thousands of buildings that were swept away or demolished.

Strong aftershocks continued to rock Palu on Saturday morning.

Photos confirmed by authorities showed bodies being lined up along a street Saturday, some in bags and some with their faces covered with clothes.

Indonesia's meteorological and geophysics agency BMKG issued a tsunami warning after the quake, but lifted it 34 minutes later.

Palu is built around a narrow bay which apparently magnified the force of the tsunami.

The natural disaster was followed by a tsunami with an estimated wave height of 10 feet, reports the BBC.

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