Indonesia has been battered by a selection of high magnitude earthquakes today, among them a gigantic magnitude 7.7.
The small island of Palu has been at the mercy of at least 10 earthquakes starting this morning.
Over the course of a day, earthquakes have not dropped below a magnitude of 4.4.
People in the area reside in propterties generally regarded as vulnerable to tremors, but a tsunami threatens to cause even more damage.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has recently updated its seismology report to include the possibility of up to 10,000 people dying.
Despite a low proability of 8 percent, there is a real possibility of widespread death from the earthquake.
Authorities were initially forced to raise a tunami warning for the city of 335,000, but has been dropped since.
After the warning passed, a tsunami was recorded hitting the shore.
A tsunami of up to two metres hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where Palu is located, after an earthquake initially 7.7 magnitude, now downgraded to 7.5 struck offshore.
USGS has said: «Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis that might have contributed to losses.»
Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency, BMKG talked after a series of aftershocks.
Speaking to Reuters, she said: «The 1.5- to two-metre tsunami has receded.
«It ended. The situation is chaotic, people are running on the streets and buildings collapsed. There is a ship washed ashore,» she added.
According to Reuters, the national search and rescue agency will deploy a large ship and helicopters to aid with the rescues.
Palu is a tourist resort at the end of a narrow bay famous for its beaches and water sports, where one person was killed following a 6.2 quake in 2005.
The region has been under serious pressure from earthquake activity in the last 15 years.
In 2004, an earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.
The area was hit by a lighter quake earlier in the day, which destroyed some houses, killing one person and injuring at least 10 in Donggala, authorities said.
More than 600,000 people live in Donggala and Palu.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, BNPB spokesman said: «The (second) quake was felt very strongly, we expect more damage and more victims.»
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes.
A series of earthquakes in July and August killed nearly 500 people on the holiday island of Lombok, hundreds of kilometres southwest of Sulawesi.