Indonesia: terrified residents woken by quake aftershock

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Опубликовано 9 октября 2018, 14:23
At least 1,407 people died in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.4 earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi on Friday, September 28.

Of the deaths, 821 were reported in the provincial city of Palu and 11 in Donggala regency, the National Disaster Management Agency said on Sunday.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the agency, said the death toll was expected to rise because quake-affected districts near Palu, such as Donggala, Sigi and Parigi Moutong, remained inaccessible to rescuers. Kompas reported damage from the earthquake and the following tsunami severely damaged power, telecommunications and transport infrastructure in the region.

Instagram user Wahab Abdul Rauf, who took this video at the Donggala fishing harbour, told Storyful that the tsunami waves that hit the town on Friday were quite big and destroyed a number of houses on the seaside.

Rescue teams now face a race against time to free people trapped in the rubble of wrecked buildings and the authorities fear the death toll could reach the “thousands”.

The tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi following a 7.5 scale earthquake under the ocean.

Palu lies inside a narrow bay and experts believe the shape of the coast could have concentrated the impact of the wave.

Janine Krippner, a volcanologist at Concord University, told National Geographic: “That can amplify wave height as it channels water into a smaller area.”

The quake that led to the tsunami could have been caused when sections of the earth’s crust grinded together.

However, experts are sceptical whether this alone would cause such huge waves heading towards Palu.

Scientists believe landslides, above or below water, may have also contributed to the scale of the tsunami.

A tsunami can travel quicker than a jet liner – meaning communities along a coastline like Sulawesi's can be wiped out before they can escape.

Indonesia frequently suffers earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis due to its position on the ‘Ring of Fire’ – an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Many countries make up the Ring of Fire but Indonesia is seen to be the most vulnerable to natural disasters.

In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

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