A tsunami hit Palu, Donggala and Mamuju in Central Sulawesi on Friday evening, triggered by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake that rocked the province at 5:02 p.m. Jakarta time. The epicenter of the quake is about 27 kilometers northeast of Donggala and 10 km deep.
Prior to the earthquake, in the afternoon, Donggala regency was hit by a 6.0 magnitude quake that killed at least one and injured several others. The quake struck about 2 km north of Donggala at a depth of 10 km and lasted 10 seconds. The earthquake was followed by several aftershocks of magnitudes between 3.2 and 5. The main quake was felt in Donggala, Palu and Poso.
Soon after the evening quake, a tsunami warning for Central Sulawesi was issued at 5:07 p.m. The warning, however, was revoked around 30 minutes later.
Soon, pictures and video footage of buildings being hit by water went viral on social media. Confusion ensued due to a lack of information from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) as communications were cut off.
It was only later that the BNPB confirmed that a tsunami had occurred. Its wave reached 1.5 meters high and hit, among other structures, Palu Grand Mall and Baiturrahman Mosque, both located near the coastline.
A number of areas in Central Sulawesi have been hit by large amounts of mudflow following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that jolted the province on Friday that also triggered a tsunami.
Petobo subdistrict in South Palu district, Palu, which is located 10-kilometers from the sea, has been struck by such mudflow.
It is feared that about 2,000 people in the subdistrict are dead, with homes having been dragged away by the mud.