A powerful earthquake has rocked central Sulawesi in Indonesia claiming dozens of victims.

According to a disaster official, four hospitals in the central Sulawesi city of Palu have reported 48 dead and hundreds injured.

The coastline has been devastated in central Sulawesi where the 3 meter high tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake on Friday smashed into two cities and several settlements. Palu is home to more than 30,000 people.

Even though there are reports of rescue operations being carried out but an official has confirmed that communications had been disrupted and that runaway in the city was damaged, although it was hoped that helicopters would still be able to land.