Head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati said the 7.4-magnitude quake in Donggala Central Sulawesi triggered a 1.5-meter tsunami in Palu. The water smashed into buildings and a large mosque that collapsed under the force.
The natural disaster struck at 6.02pm in Palu, with an epicentre located 26km north-east of Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi, and a depth of 11km.
The USGS website mentions a 7.5-magnitude quake.
Central Sulawsi was hit earlier Friday by a magnitude 6.1 quake that based on preliminary information killed one person, injured 10 and damaged dozens of houses.
Indonesian disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said houses were swept away by the tsunami and families had been reported missing.
"Residents panicked and scattered out of their homes".
An aerial view of the collapsed Jamiul Jamaah mosque where rescue workers and soldiers search for natural disaster victims in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia August 8, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
Dozens of injured people were being treated in makeshift medical tents set up outdoors, TV images showed. The statement comes after a video emerged online of a huge tsunami hitting a town in the region.
Communications with the area are hard because power and telecommunications are cut, hampering search and rescue efforts.
The September 28 tremor was centred 78 km north of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi Province, but was felt in the far south of the island in its largest city Makassar.
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The tsunami was caused by a 7.5 magnitude natural disaster which hit just off central Sulawesi last night.
There were at least five foreshocks and aftershocks recorded at magnitude 5 or stronger on Friday.
She did not explain how long the tsunami lasted.
A powerful 7.5 magnitude quake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi Friday evening just hours after a powerful, deadly foreshock.
Indonesia has been hit by a string of other deadly quakes including a devastating 9.1 magnitude tremor that struck off the coast of Sumatra in 2004. The quake triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
A collapsed shopping mall in Palu, Central Sulawesi after a 7.5 magnitude quake hit the area.
More than 600,000 people live in Donggala and Palu.
Numerous aftershocks after the initial, 7.5-magnitude quake were 5.0-magnitude or greater on the Richter scale, according to the agency.