Indonesian officials say at least 384 people died and 540 were injured following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake Friday and a subsequent tsunami that hit two cities - Palu and Donggala - in central Sulawesi province.
Authorities said Saturday hundreds of people were on the beach in Palu for a festival when the earthquake and tsunami struck, sweeping many people away to their deaths in the giant waves.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tsunami hit with a speed of 800 kilometers per hour, destroying buildings and infrastructure. He said thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed and a landslide has cut off Palu's main highway.
A large bridge spanning a coastal river in Sulawesi province collapsed.
Nugroho said search and rescue teams have been dispatched.
Television footage showed people being treated outdoors in makeshift medical facilities, while bodies, some of them in bags, are lined up on the streets.
An Indonesia emergency official said, "Bodies of victims were found in several places because they were hit by the rubble of collapsing buildings or swept by [the] tsunami."
Power and telecommunications lines have been knocked out, hampering the rescue operations Saturday.
There are conflicting reports about damage to the local airport and whether it will be able to receive relief aid.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. officials were in contact with Indonesian authorities and “stand ready to provide support as required.”
Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth. It sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin.