The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Monday, 01 October 2018 01:00

Tremendous earthquake followed by tsunami struck Indonesia: 840 people dead

Massive earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia Massive earthquake and tsunami struck Indonesia.

A powerful Mw 7,5 earthquake hit Indonesian Island of Sulawesi triggering a large tsunami and killing at least 840 people.

The tsunami struck the coastal city of Palu, home to 300,000 people, on Friday 28 of September, provoking severe casualties. The tsunami waves, reaching up to 6 meters, struck the city's coast fiercely carrying away everything in their path. Vice president of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, stated that the death toll could rise into more than a thousand. Many buildings and vehicles along the coast were damaged or washed away and people were trapped in their rubble. According to officials, at least 2.4 million people have been affected by the incident while 17,000 of them were left homeless.

People criticize the handling of Indonesia's geophysics agency (BMKG) as the tsunami warning was lifted 34 minutes after it was issued. According to BMKG, the decision was delayed as the closest tidal sensor available was 125 miles away from Palu. "We have no observation data at Palu. So we had to use the data we had and make a call based on that," said Rahmat Triyono, head of the earthquakes and tsunami center at BMKG.

Three days later, Palu city is still covered in debris. Living conditions are devastating as food and water supplies are running low. Few buildings have not been affected by the shock and can provide shelter to residents. Under these circumstances, people started to raiding shops in order to find supplies. A woman said CNN that she was terrified for her and her baby's safety after these incidents.

Rescue efforts still continue with authorities stating that "all national potential" including military transport planes and helicopters, will be deployed. Soldiers and Police officers will assist the citizens.

The earthquake also caused intense liquefaction incidents. During this phenomenon, soil behaves like a liquid due to high water pressure. Thus it can no longer support the buildings that lie on it. "We observed that such phenomenon had dragged buildings away in several locations, such as in Sigi Biromaru district in Sigi regency and South Palu district," agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.


Read 556 times Last modified on Monday, 01 October 2018 16:25


Aerial images of devastation after Indonesia tsunami

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