Officials raised the death toll from a major earthquake and tsunami on Sulawesi from 48 to 384 on Saturday afternoon (local time), September 29. The spokesman for the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management announced that 384 people were killed in the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami on Friday, September 28. An additional 540 people were injured. Officials warn that the estimates are solely from the city of Palu and did not include reports from other areas affected by the quake and tsunami, including Donggala regency, or the whereabouts of attendees at a beach festival that was to take place Friday evening.
Transportation disruptions remain in Central Sulawesi. Palu's Mutiara SIS Al-Jufri Airport (PLW) experienced damage to the runway and control tower and remains closed until at least 19:20 on Saturday. Authorities hope to reopen the airport to air shipments of aid and supplies. Landslides have also cut overland routes from Palu to Poso and Donggala regencies. Authorities revealed reports of extensive damage to bridges, buildings, and hospitals and power and telecommunication outages persist. Aftershocks around 5.0-magnitude have continued across the province, including a 5.1-magnitude earthquake 75 km (46 mi) south-southeast of Palu at 15:40 on Saturday. Further aftershocks and infrastructure damage is possible in the coming hours and days.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake occurred in Central Sulawesi province around 18:02 on Friday, September 28, approximately 81 km (50 mi) north of Palu at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi), causing a tsunami around 2 m (6 ft) high that struck the west coast of Sulawesi and Palu. A total of 29 earthquakes have struck the area since Friday morning.
Indonesia lies within the active seismic zone known as "the Pacific Ring of Fire."
Individuals present in the impacted region are advised to monitor the situation, be prepared for further aftershocks, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Individuals elsewhere in Indonesia are advised to defer all travel to the affected areas until further notice.
During an earthquake, individuals are advised to protect themselves as much as possible from falling debris if indoors (e.g. under a table), to move away from windows and exterior walls, and do not attempt to leave the building unless there is an immediate danger. If outdoors, move away from any tall structures, such as buildings, utility wires, and streetlights.
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