The sun had just slipped behind the mountains, in what could have been a postcard from a tropical paradise, except for the long white wave stretching the width of the bay — getting larger and closer with each second.

A man surveys the damage following earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A tsunami swept away buildings and killed large number of people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dumping victims caught in its relentless path across a devastated landscape that rescuers were struggling to reach Saturday, hindered by damaged roads and broken communications. (AP Photo/Rifki)

By the time the fast-moving wall of water slammed into Palu off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on Friday, it was 3 meters (10 feet) high.

Indonesian men carry the body of a tsunami victim in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A tsunami swept away buildings and killed large number of people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dumping victims caught in its relentless path across a devastated landscape that rescuers were struggling to reach Saturday, hindered by damaged roads and broken communications. (AP Photo/Rifki)
People carry the body of a tsunami victim in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A 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 tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, destroyed the idyllic scene in seconds, leaving hundreds of people dead.

Residents carry the body of a tsunami victim in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A 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)
A man surveys the damage caused by earthquake and tsunami 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)

Experts said the long, thin bay running into Palu, a city of 380,000, squeezed the tsunami into a tight space, likely making the waves higher.

A man stands amid the damage caused by a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A 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)
A man carries the body of a child who was killed in the tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A 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)

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo said the waves reached as high as 6 meters (20 feet) in at least one area.

Source: The Associated Press

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