Very strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit Minahasa, Sulawesi, Indonesia at 10:02 UTC (17:02 local time) on September 28, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). BMKG is reporting M7.4 at a depth of 10 km, EMSC M7.4 at the same depth. Powerful aftershocks are shaking the region. The quake comes just 3 hours after deadly M6.1 hit the same area.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 44 km (34 miles) NNE of Donggala, 80 km (50 miles) N of Palu (population 282 431), and 168 km (105 miles) NW of Poso (population 47 110), Indonesia.
A tsunami warning has been issued by the BMKG. A major tsunami was reported in Palu and Donggala.
Peringatan Dini #Tsunami untuk wilayah: SULBAR, SULTENG, Gempa Mag:7.7, 28-Sep-18 17:02:44 WIB, Lok:0.18 LS, 119.85 BT (27 km TimurLaut DONGGALA-SULTENG), Kedlmn:10 Km #BMKG pic.twitter.com/NMRQm1XNOZ— BMKG (@infoBMKG) September 28, 2018
There are 780 000 people living within 100 km (620 miles).
Some 20 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 73 000 very strong, 604 000 strong, 1 374 000 moderate, 12 047 000 light and 9 259 000 weak.
The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unreinforced brick with concrete floor and precast concrete frame with wall construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis that might have contributed to losses.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
The USGS registered two M5.8 aftershocks at 10:14 and 10:25, respectively. Both at a depth of 10 km.
1 orang meninggal dunia, 10 orang luka-luka dan puluhan rumah rusak akibat gempa dengan kekuatan magnitudo 6 mengguncang Donggala Sulawesi Tengah. Daerah yang mengalami kerusakan ada di Kec Sinreja Kab Donggala yang dekat pusat gempa. Gempa susulan masih terus terjadi. pic.twitter.com/u7d27niBYx— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) September 28, 2018
Rumah roboh dekat pusat gempa M 5.9 yang mengguncang Donggala. Beberapa rumah dilaporkan rusak. Pusat gempa di darat berasal dari sesar Palu sehingga dirasakan guncangan keras. Pendataan masih dilakukan. pic.twitter.com/p6DlnVBTWo— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) September 28, 2018
Rumah dan bangunan banyak yang mengalami kerusakan akibat gempa 7,7 SR di Kota Palu dan Donggala Sulawesi Tengah. Berdasarkan analisis gempa dirasakan intensitas gempa VI-VII MMI (keras hingga sangat keras). Biasanya bangunan banyak yang roboh. Evakuasi masih dilakukan. pic.twitter.com/7yCf2sMAwL— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) September 28, 2018
Gempa dengan kekuatan 7,7 guncang Kota Palu dan Donggala Sulawesi Tengah. Banyak bangunan roboh. Masyarakat berhamburan keluar rumah dan bangunan. Peringatan dini tsunami sempat diaktivasi selama 30 menit oleh BMKG. Evakuasi dan pendataan masih dilakukan. pic.twitter.com/epJUvzWc7t— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) September 28, 2018
A major tsunami hit Palu and Donggala.
Palu is located nearly 80 km (50 miles) from the epicenter. Its population is 350 000.
September 29 @ 06:30 UTC
Official sources mention tsunami waves up to 3 meters (10 feet) but there are reports speaking of a tsunami as high as 6 m (20 feet).
Authorities are still assessing the damage and counting casualties. As of 22:00 UTC, September 28, at least 7 people have been killed. By 06:00 UTC on September 29, the number rose to at least 48 and authorities warned the death toll may substantially rise in the coming days.
Electricity and communications in tsunami-affected areas have been cut off, making it difficult to assess the damage.
Residents are urged not to go inside their homes and sleep away from buildings.
The number of people killed in shallow M7.5 earthquake and tsunami it caused on September 28 climbed to 1 407 today.
An estimated 66 000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, thousands injured and thousands more feared dead after landslides hit inland areas.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by lack of heavy machinery and destroyed transport links, making food, water, fuel and medicine slow to reach the hardest-hit areas.
The UN's humanitarian office said almost 200 000 people need urgent help.
Featured image credit: USGS, EMSC