Indonesia Death Toll Jumps to 832

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

At least 832 people were confirmed dead as of Sunday evening, Indonesia's disaster agency said, with almost all of those from Palu.

Five foreigners - three French, one South Korean and one Malaysian - were among the missing.

Four days on, some remote areas have yet to be contacted, medicines are running out and rescuers are struggling with a shortage of heavy equipment to reach desperate victims calling out from the ruins of collapsed buildings.

The Ministry of Transportation confirmed that Taipa Port and the Mamboro Bus Terminal in Palu were also badly damaged.

"We have heard nothing from Donggala and this is extremely worrying", the Red Cross said in a statement.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government had allocated 560 billion rupiah ($37.58-million) for disaster recovery, media reported.

People outside a shopping mall damaged in earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, September 30, 2018.

Indonesia has been hit by a string of other deadly quakes including a devastating 9.1 magnitude tremor that struck off the coast of Sumatra in December 2004.

VOA's former bureau chief in Jakarta Frans Padak Demon, who was in Palu when the tsunami hit, estimates that there were as many as "thousands of people in Talise Beach" around 5pm on Friday for an event commemorating the anniversary of the city of Palu.

This meant a tsunami warning was issued to everyone in the area.

However, officials estimated the waves had hit while the warning was in force.

At Least 30 Killed by 7.5 Magnitude Earthquake, Tsunami in Indonesia

Questions have been raised about what caused the tsunami, with speculation an underwater landslide was to blame.

People loot a convenience store in Palu, in Central Sulawesi, on September 30, 2018, after a strong quake triggered a tsunami that struck the area.

The BMKG said its closest tidal gauge sensor, about 200 km (125 miles) from Palu, had only recorded an "insignificant", 6 cm (2.5 inches) wave, while researchers said it was surprising the "strike-slip" quake, when tectonic plates move horizontally rather than vertically, had generated a tsunami.

The U.S. State Department said it was not immediately aware of Americans affected by the quake or tsunami, but extended its condolences to the victims of the tragedy.

Dramatic video footage captured from the top floor of a parking ramp as the tsunami rolled in showed waves toppling several buildings and inundating a large mosque.

Electricity and communications have been cut off and roads that are severely damaged or blocked by landslides are making it hard to assess the damage, Nugroho said. "Clean water is an urgent need for the people of Palu", he said.

Some of the injured, including Dwi Haris, who suffered a broken back and shoulder, rested outside Palu's Army Hospital, where patients were being treated outdoors due to continuing strong aftershocks. "Many people don't know the threat (of the tsunami) so they are still doing activities on the beach", he said, including hundreds gathered there for a beach festival. Around 16,700 people were evacuating to 24 centres in Palu.

As Indonesia's President Joko Widodo heads to visit Palu on Sunday, the scale of the earthquake's destruction is still unclear. "If he needs our help, he'll have it", he told ABC TV's Insiders programme.

Palu's airport closed because of the damage suffered from the natural disaster.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly struck by earthquakes.

Indonesia's president on Friday night said he had instructed the security minister to coordinate the government's response to a quake and tsunami that hit central Sulawesi.

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