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tsunami

 

At least 832 people were killed in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the national disaster agency says.It added that the affected area was bigger than initially thought.Many people were reported trapped in the rubble of buildings that collapsed in Friday's 7.5-magnitude earthquake, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.The quake had triggered tsunami waves as high as 6m (20ft), he added.

Rescuers have been digging by hand in the frantic search for survivors in the Indonesian city of Palu.There are also particular concerns about the town of Donggala, where the impact is still unclear.Search efforts are being hampered by blocked roads and a collapsed bridge.The Red Cross estimates that more than 1.6 million people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami."This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse," the Red Cross said in a statement.

Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the final death toll could be in the thousands.President Joko Widodo has arrived in Palu and is viewing sites affected by the disaster, including Talise Beach - the main tourist area that was badly affected by the tsunami.

Yenni Suryani, the Indonesia country manager for the aid agency Catholic Relief Services, said Donggala appears to be inaccessible by road or air and that help may have to come by sea.Strong aftershocks have continued to hit the island since Friday's earthquake.

(BBC)