‘Bodies everywhere’ as fears Indonesian tsunami death toll will hit thousands

Officials in Indonesia fear the death toll from Friday’s earthquake and tsunami could rise into the thousands as rescue crews struggle to reach affected areas.

832 people have so far been confirmed dead after a three-metre high tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

More than 150 aftershocks have hit the region since the initial quake on Friday.


The city of Palu was left devastated by the tsunami with bodies littering the streets and beaches while hundreds more remain unaccounted for.

There are fears many victims have been washed out to sea.

Dozens of people remain trapped in a hotel in Palu where one woman has been rescued from the wreckage.

Electricity has been cut off to the area and drinking water is beginning to run out forcing the evacuation of at least 17,000 people so far.

Authorities have still not been able to reach the city of Donggala north of Palu which is home to 300,000 and close to the epicentre of the quake.

The city and other nearby towns have been cut off from communications since the quake struck on Friday.

Australia has vowed to provide whatever assistance is necessary.

In a joint statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne expressed their condolences to the people of Indonesia.

“The reported scale and impact of the disaster continues to grow and aftershocks continue to be recorded.”

“As a close neighbour, Australia stands ready to support Government of Indonesia response efforts, if required.”