Hundreds of people were confirmed killed, and many swept away as tsunami waves triggered by a massive earthquake crashed into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28. As per media reports, the death toll so far is only rising, and the rescue officials fear that thousands may have been killed at the country’s disaster. In Indonesia’s devastating 7.5 earthquake and tsunami, a young air traffic controller has been hailed as a hero after sacrificing his life to ensure a plane full of passengers could safely take off from Palu. The 21-year-old Anthonius Gunawan Agung chose to remain at his post to guide a Batik Air flight, which was on the runway at the time. Tsunami Batters Indonesia Again: Take a Look at Other Earthquake and Tsunamis That Have Caused Massive Destruction to Island Nation in the Past.
According to the ABC News report, other staffs in the control tower at the Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport ran to save their lives. While the young traffic controller gave his instructions, the tower was starting to crack. Once the plane took off and was safe in the air, he took the risk of jumping from a fourth-floor window. The 21-year-old’s selfless actions saved the lives of hundreds of passengers on board. He was rushed to the hospital with a broken leg and many internal injuries. The brave controller died in the early hours of the following morning. The news of his courage comes as traumatic overhead images from the Indonesia quake and tsunami, showing mass devastation.
May your soul rest in peace brave Anthonius Gunawan Agung.
Telah wafat saat menjalankan tugasnya sebagai personel layanan navigasi penerbangan, Saudara Anthonius Gunawan Agung, Air Traffic Controller (ATC) AirNav Indonesia Cabang Palu pada Sabtu (29/09).#RIPAgung #DoaUntukSulteng#PrayforDonggala #PrayforPalu pic.twitter.com/6Wpobp3R7m
— AirNav Indonesia (@AirNav_Official) September 29, 2018
The Indonesian authorities have been criticised for lifting the tsunami warning just 34 minutes after it was issued. As per local reports, this move led to many residents believe that there was no risk and they can head towards the beach. Hundreds were preparing to celebrate the city’s anniversary in lavish beach parties, when the disaster struck down. The latest updates state that the confirmed death toll in Sulawesi has risen to 832. Many bodies have been found on the beaches and authorities fear many may have been washed out to sea. More than 500 people suffered injuries in Palu alone.