A department store building is seen heavily damaged by earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. The powerful earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday, triggering a 3-meter-tall (10-foot-tall) tsunami that an official said swept away houses in at least two cities. (AP Photo/Rifki)

The Latest: President orders gov't help for Indonesia quake

September 28, 2018 - 11:34 pm

PALU, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a powerful earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia (all times local):

10 a.m.

Indonesia's president says he instructed the security minister to coordinate the government's response to a quake and tsunami that hit central Sulawesi.

President Joko Widodo also told reporters in his hometown of Solo late Friday that he had called on the country's military chief to work on search and rescue efforts and evacuations as needed.

The tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake smashed into two cities and several settlements on Sulawesi island.

The national disaster agency said Saturday there were "many victims." Images from the area showed victims' bodies, debris from flattened buildings and puddles of seawater remained.

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8:45 a.m.

An Indonesian official says the earthquake and tsunami that hit central Sulawesi left many victims, as rescuers raced to the region.

Disaster officials haven't released an official death toll but reports from three hospitals seen Saturday by The Associated Press listed 18 dead.

Dawn revealed a devastated coastline in central Sulawesi where the tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake Friday smashed into two cities and several settlements.

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a television interview there are "many victims."

In Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, a large bridge spanning a coastal river had collapsed and the city was strewn with debris.

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