Death toll reaches 420 in Indonesia quake-tsunami

In Indonesia, the death toll from a powerful earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi has reached 420. According to State media, rescuers are scrambling to reach the stricken region and survivors are helping to retrieve the remains of those killed.

Authorities fear increase in casualties as news arriving from remote areas cut off by the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and five feet high tsunami. At least 540 people have been badly injured as hospitals struggle to cope with the influx of casualties.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has said the military is being called in to the region to help search-and-rescue teams get to victims and find bodies.

Some government planes carrying relief supplies managed to land at the main airport in Palu, although officials said it would likely remain closed to commercial flights for days.

There are concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people who were preparing for a beach festival that had been due to start on Friday.

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra killed 2.26 lakh people across the Indian Ocean, including more than 1.2 lakh in Indonesia.

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