Families reported missing as tsunami sweeps Indonesian island after powerful earthquake

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A tsunami struck the Indonesian island of Palu in the Sulawesi region that was already reeling from a 7.5-magnitude earthquake today. Terrifying video footage from the scene show massive waves building up and crashing into the island as residents scream and scramble to flee:

 

In the video, giant waves can be seen rushing towards the island as crowds of people can be heard screaming. The person shooting the footage focuses on the crowd who are fleeing before moving the camera to the tsunami which crashes into the land, sweeping buildings and homes as though it were dust.

The footage suddenly goes dark although the sounds of the terrified crowd can be heard. Moments later, the camera refocuses to show the destruction as the water courses through the streets, strewing debris all about.

Officials have reported that while the waters have receded, families are still missing. Several residents have also been injured although no deaths have been reported so far.

Earlier today, a powerful earthquake struck the island. The quake was preceded by a smaller tremor that destroyed buildings, injured ten people and claimed the life of one resident.

The quake triggered a tsunami warning for residents in the Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi provinces. Although the warning has since been lifted, officials have advised residents to be on alert

Although the warning was lifted within the hour, officials asked people to remain on the alert in case more aftershocks strike the region. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told reporters:

“We advise people to remain in safe areas, stay away from damaged buildings…We expect more damage and more victims.”

 

Indonesia is regularly struck by earthquakes since it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Earlier in July and August, a series of earthquakes rocked the Indonesian holiday island Lombok, claiming the lives of nearly 500 people.

Possibly the biggest tsunami in the region was the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 that was caused by a massive earthquake off Sumatra, Indonesia. The tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, 120,000 of whom were in Indonesia.