A powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which triggered a tsunami off the coast of the city of Palu (Population: 350,000 people).
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the disaster agency (BNBP) in Indonesia, confirmed that 832 people have been killed in the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, with the number expected to rise as there could be many bodies under the wreckage.
821 died in Palu and 11 people have been confirmed dead in Donggala. 540 people were seriously injured and hospitalised.
During the earthquake there were 61 foreign nationals in the city of Palu. 3 French people, 1 Malaysian and 1 South Korean are currently missing.
The officials are facing many obstacles in the evacuation process and access to heavy equipment needed to help the rescue efforts is still limited.
21-year-old Anthonius Gunawan Agung, is being hailed as a hero after he stayed in the air traffic control tower, to make sure that a flight to Bali could take off safely even as the earthquake hit
Agung had cleared Batik Air for takeoff and waited until the aircraft was safely in the air before leaving his air traffic controller cabin. Agung then jumped from the control tower as it was collapsing and did not survive.
The situation is so dire that the Indonesian Government has reportedly given the people in Palu permission to loot food and water from shops.