At least 384 people were killed, many swept away by giant waves as they played on the beach, when a major earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, authorities said on Saturday.

Hundreds had gathered for a festival on the beach of the city of Palu on Friday when waves up to six metres (18 feet) high smashed ashore just on dusk, sweeping many to their death and destroying anything in their path, reported by Star Online.

A cellphone video shows tsunami wave hitting the city of Palu, Indonesia on Sept. 28. The U.S. Geological Survey said the strongest of two major quakes had a magnitude of 7.5 and was centered at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers) about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of the central Sulawesi town of Donggala.

Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi province, was strewn with debris from collapsed buildings. Seawater still pooled inland and a mosque heavily damaged by the quake was half submerged. A shopping mall in the paralyzed city of more than 380,000 people had been reduced to a crumpled hulk. The city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as it raced into the tight inlet.

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