Home News Large Earthquake Strikes Indonesia's Sulawesi Island; Damage Reported, Tsunami Confirmed

Large Earthquake Strikes Indonesia's Sulawesi Island; Damage Reported, Tsunami Confirmed

4 min read

  • A 7.5 magnitude earthquake occurred Friday evening local time on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
  • The quake triggered a tsunami, according to Indonesia's geophysics agency.
  • A 6.1 magnitude foreshock struck earlier in the day, killing at least one person.

A powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi Friday evening just hours after a powerful, deadly foreshock, apparently triggered a tsunami that hit the coast minutes later.

The main tremor struck at 6:02 p.m. local time Friday evening (6:02 a.m. EDT) about 35 miles northeast of Donggala, Indonesia – a town of about 300,000 – according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Shortly after, a tsunami warning was issued by Indonesia's geophysics agency, then lifted.

It's believed the tsunami wave struck Donggala and Palu, a coastal town of about 330,000, after the alert was canceled. Hary Tirto Djatmiko, a spokesman for the agency, confirmed to the Associated Press that a tsunami occurred and more information would be released once it was gathered.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency, told a local TV station that houses were carried away by the tsunami and families were missing, but darkness hindered the search Friday night.

(MORE: Watching Typhoon Trami)

There were at least 10 foreshocks and aftershocks recorded at magnitude 5 or stronger on Friday.

The main quake was relatively shallow in preliminary observations – just 6.2 miles deep, according to the USGS. Earlier Friday, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed one person, injured several others and damaged dozens of homes, according to the AP.

"It happened while we still have difficulties in collecting data from nine villages affected by the first quake," an official with Akris, the local disaster agency, told the AP. "People ran out in panic."

The tremors came a month after a large earthquake killed hundreds on the island of Lombok, southwest of Sulawesi.

This is a developing story; please check back frequently for more information.

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In this photo released by the Disaster Management Agency, a house sits damaged after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake early Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Donggala, central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Powerful earthquakes jolted the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday, damaging houses and briefly triggered a tsunami warning. (Disaster Management Agency via AP)

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