Strong quake, tsunami in Indonesia’s Sulawesi island kill at least 30

An earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu on Sulawesi island

An earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu on Sulawesi island

But the death toll is still unclear.

The national disaster agency said Saturday there were "many victims".

"There are 30 dead at our hospital".

In 2004, an natural disaster off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

At least 30 people have been reported dead at one local hospital on the island of Sulawesi as rescuers scramble to reach the stricken region which includes the city of Palu, home to more than 300,000 people.

A military hospital ship which had been operating in Lombak has been redeployed to Palu, but damage to infrastructure is creating difficulties for emergency agencies in the area.

Indonesia's geophysics agency confirmed the tsunami occurred after the agency originally called off its tsunami warning.

Videos circulating on social media show a powerful wave hitting Palu with people screaming and running in fear.

Amateur footage shown by local TV stations showed waters crashing into houses along Palu's shoreline, scattering shipping containers and flooding into a mosque in the city.

Power outage has cut off communications hampering relief efforts, Nugroho said.

"All national potential will be deployed, and tomorrow morning we will deploy Hercules and helicopters to provide assistance in tsunami-affected areas".

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the second quake at a strong 7.5 after first saying it was 7.7.

Waves of up to 2m high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island.

She said the tsunami warning triggered by the biggest quake, in place for about half an hour, was lifted after the tsunami was over.

The 7.5 magnitude quake struck just before 6pm local time. "Avoid the slopes of hills".

Residents carry the body of a tsunami victim in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

A 6.1 magnitude foreshock struck earlier in the day, killing at least one person.

The agency also said homes and a local hotel were flattened while a landmark city bridge was destroyed.

"For now, the majority of 380,000 people there are staying outside their buildings", he added.

According to United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the United Nations has been in contact with the Indonesian government and "stand ready to provide support as required".

Donggala resident Mohammad Fikri said by telephone that he ran from his house but there wasn't great panic in his neighbourhood. "Last week we felt an natural disaster that had a stronger tremor so this time we didn't panic, just avoided the buildings and now everything has returned to normal", Mr Fikri said.

The festival was in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, which was strewn with debris from collapsed buildings and pooled seawater. The largest shock - with a magnitude of 7.5 - was detected 50 miles north of Palu, according to USGS.

It lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and numerous world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

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