Devastation in Sulawesi

Palu city hit ahead of a beach festival

Damage from an earthquake and tsunami seen in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Sept 29, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Palu city, which was hit by earthquakes and tsunami waves on Friday, is the capital of Central Sulawesi province.

Central Sulawesi is one of Indonesia's 34 provinces and the largest of the six provinces located on giant Sulawesi island, which was formerly known as Celebes.

With a size of nearly 62,000 sq km, Central Sulawesi is about half the size of peninsular Malaysia. The province has a population of some 2.8 million people.

The other area in Central Sulawesi hit by the quake-tsunami is Donggala regency which is some 34km north of Palu.

More than 600,000 people live in Palu and Donggala.

Hundreds of people were gathered for a festival on the beach of Palu on Friday evening when the tsunami waves hit the shoreline.

The tsunami could be as high as 3m.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said yesterday that the quake intensity was much higher in Donggala, which was closer to the epicentre, and the authorities expect the damage there to be much worse.3

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 30, 2018, with the headline Palu city hit ahead of a beach festival. Subscribe