On Friday evening, September 28th, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia, causing an enormous tsunami on the island of Sulawesi. More than 840 are now confirmed dead in and near the city of Palu, with many more still unaccounted for. Many were swept out to sea.
The expectation is that the death toll will grow quickly, with many people having been trapped in collapsed buildings, and many others missing. It has been noted that the initial deaths from the terrible 2004 tsunami was only around 40, while the full count eventually exceeded 250,000.
Indonesia is an island nation comprised of 13,000 islands, located on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates collide. This gives rise to regular volcano eruptions and earthquakes, which can then cause tsunamis.
After the 2004 tsunami, a warning system was established across the entire Pacific region. However, there were no sirens on Friday warning of the impending 20 foot tsunami.