PALU, Indonesia — Residents too afraid to sleep indoors camped out in the darkness Saturday while victims recounted harrowing stories of being separated from their loved ones a day after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that unleashed waves as high as 20 feet, killing hundreds on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

The official death toll stood at 384, with all of the fatalities coming in the hard-hit city of Palu, but it was expected to rise once rescuers reached surrounding coastal areas, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said others were unaccounted for, without giving an estimate. The nearby cities of Donggala and Mamuju were also ravaged, but little information was available due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

A ship rests in the wreckage in Palu.

Nugroho said “tens to hundreds” of people were taking part in a beach festival in Palu when the tsunami struck at dusk on Friday. Their fate was unknown.

Hundreds of people were injured and hospitals, damaged by the magnitude 7.5 quake, were overwhelmed.

Some of the injured, including Dwi Haris, who suffered a broken back and shoulder, rested outside Palu’s Army Hospital, where patients were being treated outdoors due to continuing strong aftershocks. Tears filled his eyes as he recounted feeling the violent earthquake shake the fifth floor hotel room he shared with his wife and daughter.

A resident surveys a collapsed building nearby. The official death toll stands at 384 and is expected to rise.

“There was no time to save ourselves. I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall, I think,” said Haris, adding that the family was in town for a wedding. “I heard my wife cry for help, but then silence. I don’t know what happened to her and my child. I hope they are safe.”

It’s the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

Palu, which has more than 380,000 people, was strewn with debris from the earthquake and tsunami.

The city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago of over 17,000 islands that’s home to 260 million people.

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