JAKARTA (RambuEnergy) – A powerful earthquake with magnitude 7.7 strength which was later updated by the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency: BMKG (BMKG) to a magnitude of 7.4 has hit the territory of Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi on late Friday (Sep. 28) at 17.02 WIB or 18.02 local time.
The epicentre of the earthquake was 10 km on 27 km east of the Donggala Sea, Central Sulawesi. BMKG immediately activated tsunami early warning with Alert status (high potential tsunami 0.5 – 3 meters) on the western Donggala coast, and Waspada status (tsunami potential height of less than 0.5 meters) on northern Donggala coast, northern Mamuju and West Palu City. BMKG has ended tsunami early warning at 17.36 WIB.
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) issued a statement later that tsunami has struck the coastal line. The BNPB Command Post also confirmed to BPBD that the tsunami had hit the Talise beach in Palu City and the beach in Donggala.
Some videos documented by the community and disseminated on social media about tsunamis in Palu and Donggala proved to be true.
The tsunami earthquake caused casualties. Initial reports revealed that there were several victims who died because of collapsed buildings. The tsunami also hit several settlements and buildings on the beach. The number of victims and their impact is still being assessed.
Local disaster management (BPBD) officers, military (TNI), National Policy, National Rescue Agency (Basarnas), and volunteers evacuate and help victims.
Telecom lines and power were immediately shut down because of the massive quake.
The power outages caused the communication network in Donggala and surrounding areas to be unable to operate because PLN’s electricity supply was paralyzed.
In addition, as many as 276 telecom base stations that paralyzed as well.
Communication operators continue to try to recover electricity supply on an emergency basis. The Ministry of Communication and Information has taken measures to recover the broken communication.
The outsiders certainly find it difficult to contact their families in the earthquake and tsunami hit areas.
The BNPB Rapid Reaction Team has immediately travelled to Donggala through Balikpapan. From Balikpapan, the BNPB Quick Reaction Team flew to Donggala using water bombing helicopters in Balikpapan. The team carries satellite communication equipment and other equipment.
The TNI plans to deploy troops to help deal with the effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Palu City and Doggala by utilizing 2 C-130 Hercules aircraft.
Basarnas mobilizes at initial phase 30 personnel along with equipment using Hercules aircraft. The National Police also mobilize personnel and equipment to provide emergency response support.
Communication that has been crippled the area has caused difficulties for coordination and reporting with the region. The power outages also caused complete darkness in Palu and Donggala. (*)