The death toll from an quake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi rose to 832 on Sunday, the national disaster mitigation agency said, adding it assessed the affected area to be bigger than initially thought.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the agency, said: "We have not received comprehensive reports yet because communications are cut".
- Palu is the capital of Central Sulawesi province, located at the end of a narrow bay on the west coast of Sulawesi island, with an estimated population of 379,800 in 2017.
Terrifying footage has emerged of the tsunami hitting Palu, which has a population of more than 380,000.
At least 384 people were killed, many swept away as giant waves crashed onto beaches, when a major quake and tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, authorities said on Saturday.
Amid the power and communication blackouts that have followed the 7.4-magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami in Central Sulawesi, several journalists based in the provincial capital of Palu have been able to submit brief reports about the disaster.
A smartphone video circulating on the social media showed a powerful wave hitting Palu with people screaming and fleeing in panic. The water smashed into buildings and a large mosque already damaged by the natural disaster.
Dirco said the South African embassy in Jakarta was in contact with the Indonesian authorities and that there were no reports so far of any South Africans missing.
Officials said aftershocks, the communications breakdown and the power outage made it hard to coordinate rescue efforts. "All national potential will be deployed, and tomorrow morning we will deploy Hercules and helicopters to provide assistance in tsunami-affected areas".
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Currently, the death toll is at 384 and counting following a devastating magnitude 7.5 natural disaster that hit Indonesia this weekend.
Hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of injured people, with many being treated in the open air, while survivors helped to retrieve the remains of those who died.
Indonesia's meteorological and geophysics agency BMKG issued a tsunami warning after the quake, but lifted it 34 minutes later.
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.
The tsunami killed about 50,000 people in other countries, bringing the total fatalities to approximately 220,000, making it one of the worst natural disasters in human history. The owner of the hotel said that up to 60 people were believed trapped in the rubble. The series of earthquakes were felt in an area with 2.4 million people. "Avoid the slopes of hills".
The city's airport remained closed after its runway and air traffic control tower was damaged in the quake but officials said they were preparing to reopen to allow aid to come in.
Residents make their way along a street full of debris after an natural disaster and tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018. Women and children wailed hysterically in a video distributed by the disaster agency, which also released a photo showing a heavily damaged department store. "We all ran out of buildings", said Yanti, a 40-year-old housewife in Donggala who goes by a single name.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
Strong aftershocks have continued to hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where a tsunami and a seven-point-five magnitude quake have led to at least 408 deaths and injured five-hundred.