Some 1,200 Indonesian convicts escaped from three different detention facilities in the devastated region of Sulawesi following an quake and tsunami disaster, a justice ministry official said on Monday.
About 1.6 million people are estimated to have been affected on top of those killed and injured.
Volunteers bury bodies in a mass grave with space for more than a thousand people, after the country's Sulawesi island was hit by tsunami and quake, killing at least 844 and displacing over 48,000 people. A disaster official said the tsunami travelled across the sea at speeds of 800 kmph Video on social media showed water bearing whirls of debris rushing in as people shouted in alarm and scattered.
Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the influx of those injured, with many people being treated outside. "We need food, water".
But there wasn't enough time for lots of people to get to safety before the wave hit.
At least 800 people were killed when a double tragedy struck the nation of Indonesia - a massive quake and then a devastating tsunami that added to the destruction, according to The Associated Press, which cited the country's disaster management agency.
The death toll was expected to rise as assessment of the risks and evacuation were underway, according to the spokesman.
CNNreports that rescue workers are still searching for survivors after the quake hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and triggered a subsequent tsunami.
"This was a terrifying double disaster", said Jan Gelfand, a Jakarta-based official at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
But they are taking a more cautious approach when digging for survivors among the debris, as aftershocks were causing building structures to be unstable. The quake and tsunami caused a major power outage that cut communications around Palu making it hard for authorities to coordinate rescue efforts.
"We've got information from people that their relatives are still inside, so we're focusing on that, especially to find survivors", a rescuer identified as Yusuf, working at the ruins of the mall, told Metro TV. More than 600,000 people live in Donggala and Palu.
Already, a story of bravery has emerged from the tragedy.
The massive wave hit Palu and Donggala in central Sulawesi province.
The tsunami created even more destruction.
People carry items looted from a shopping mall.
Homes and a local hotel were flattened while a landmark city bridge was destroyed.
Officials say rescuers need heavy equipment to shift slabs of broken concrete but access to many areas has been hampered by damaged roads, landslides and collapsed bridges.
An AFP reporter on the scene saw widespread damage some 50 metres inland.
The main airport at Palu was damaged, landslides had cut off key roads while "power is out nearly everywhere", she added.
The BMKG said its closest tidal gauge sensor, about 200 km (125 miles) from Palu, had only recorded an "insignificant", 6 cm (2.5 inches) wave, while researchers said it was surprising the "strike-slip" quake, when tectonic plates move horizontally rather than vertically, had generated a tsunami. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because of its location on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.
Antara Foto Agency / Reuters An aerial view of the Baiturrahman mosque which was hit by a tsunami, after a quake in West Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia Sunday in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
Damage from an quake and tsunami can be seen in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia September 29, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.