UPDATE: POWERFUL QUAKE, TSUNAMI KILL AT LEAST 48 IN CENTRAL INDONESIA

At least 48 people were killed and 356 others injured, as strong earthquakes and ensuing tsunami, rattled Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province on Friday, a disaster agency official said today (Saturday).

Three shallow quakes of 6.0, 7.4 and 6.1 magnitude, struck off the central province and triggered a tsunami of 0.5 to three metres, in coastal areas near Talisa beach of Dongala district, and bay city of Palu, the provincial capital, the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

All victims have been rushed to hospitals, spokesman of the national disaster management agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said.

The spokesman said, casualties were only counted in Palu, the provincial capital of Central Sulawesi, but the victims in Donggala district, including the coastal areas near Talisa beach, were not included in the figure. "Accordingly, the death toll and injuries, as well as, the damage will likely climb," he told a press conference.

Most victims of the powerful 7.4-magnitude quake, Sutopo said, were hit by debris and falling blocks of concretes.

A tsunami, triggered by the quake, devastated buildings and residential areas in the coastal areas, he said, adding that, the specific damage was still unknown as the risk assessment was underway.

Local media quoted hospital staff as saying, at least 30 people were killed, in the earthquake and tsunami.

Soldiers, police, disaster management agency personnel and volunteers were evacuating the quake and tsunami victims, said spokesman Sutopo.

Power outage has cut off local communications which is hampering the relief efforts.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK