Indonesia rocked by magnitude 7.5 quake

Magnitude 7.5 quake rocks Indonesia

Powerful earthquake rocks Indonesian island; tsunami warning issued

Indonesian city of Palu was hit by tsunami after a powerful 7.5 magnitude natural disaster in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia geophysics agency said on Friday.

Tsunami in Indonesia: Indonesian city of Palu has been hit by a tsunami after an quake of magnitude 7.7 hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday evening.

Communications with the area are hard because power and telecommunications are cut, hampering search and rescue efforts.

Amateur footage shown by local TV stations, which could not immediately be authenticated by Reuters, showed waters crashing into houses along Palu's shoreline, scattering shipping containers and flooding into a mosque in the city.

Indonesia's disaster agency spokesman says a tsunami warning for the island of Sulawesi has been lifted. An Indonesian official said there were "many victims".

He said in a live TV interview Friday that houses were swept away and families are reported missing.

A house sits damaged after the natural disaster in Donggala, central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The shaking of the 7.5-magnitude tremor was "severe" and the likely damage following the quake "moderate to heavy", the USGS said. He said he had been unable to contact after the tsunami hit.

The main tremor of the 7.5-magnitude quake rattled Indonesia's Sulawesi Island - about 35 miles northeast of Donggala, a town of about 300,000, around 5:15 p.m. local time, the Associated Press reported. It briefly triggered a tsunami warning.

More than 420,000 people were left homeless and some 157,000 houses were destroyed. "Last week we felt an natural disaster that had a stronger tremor so this time we didn't panic, just avoided the buildings and now everything has returned to normal", Mr Fikri said.

Sulawesi is the fourth largest Indonesian island and is home to around 18million people - all of whom have been put on alert following the quake on Friday.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes as it sits on major fault lines along the so-called "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific Ocean.

In the year 2004, the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra had seen a massive quake which had also triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean.

This summer, a series of powerful quakes hit Lombok, killing more than 550 people on the holiday island and neighbouring Sumbawa.

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