A tsunami of up to two meter high hit Palu early Friday, after the city was shaken by a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
"The bodies of the victims were found in several places, because they were beaten by the debris of buildings that collapsed or because they were swept away by the tsunami (…) but we are still gathering data," a National Disaster Mitigation spokesman said on Saturday, without providing an official death toll, reports Reuters.
However, a hospital official told Metro TV that at least 30 people were killed in the disaster, and that at least 12 other people required orthopedic surgery. According to a later AFP report, the death toll has risen to 48.
Local residents say there is still no evacuation underway in Palu.
As Sputnik reported earlier, the main airport on Sulawesi, Mutiara SIS Al-Jufrie Airport, is closed until Saturday evening due to the disaster, according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper.