Tsunami strikes Indonesia after local authorities lift warning

Video footage showed a six-foot wall of water smashing into the Indonesian city of Palu.
by Corky Siemaszko /
Image: A collapsed house following an earthquake in Donggala, Central Sulawesi
A collapsed house after an earthquake in Donggala, Central Sulawesi. Indonesia was rocked by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 28, 2018.National Agency for Disaster Management / AFP - Getty Images

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A six-foot wall of water crashed into an Indonesian island on Friday — several hours after local authorities lifted a tsunami warning.

And as the wave hit the island of Sulawesi and swamped the city of Palu, it became immediately clear that the warning had been lifted too soon.

Video footage of a massive wave smashing into Palu, uprooting trees and mowing down buildings in its path while people are heard screaming and seen running for their lives, quickly appeared online.

Some 300,000 people live in that provincial capital.

The waters began receding almost immediately after the tsunami hit at 5:48 p.m. local time and there was no word on any deaths.

Hary Tirto Djatmiko, a spokesman for Indonesia’s geophysics agency, confirmed to The Associated Press that a tsunami hit and said his agency was still in the midst of collecting information about what happened.

The tsunami appears to have been touched off by a huge 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit at 10:02 a.m. local time (6:02 a.m. ET) some 35 miles north of Palu, officials said.

The tsunami warning was lifted about 30 minutes after the quake struck, local officials tweeted.

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