With rescue efforts ongoing in Sulawesi after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the government in Taiwan has advised employers to allow their Indonesian workers to return home if they need to.

The magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck central Sulawesi province at 5:02pm Friday, followed by a devastating tsunami. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands, with more than 800 bodies already recovered and rescue team unable to reach many hard-hit areas, the Taiwan Times reported.

Premier William Lai Ching-te expressed his sincere condolences to the victims and their families, and the Ministry of Labor will offer full assistance to all Indonesian workers in Taiwan.

At the end of August 2018, there were more than 262,000 migrant workers from Indonesia in Taiwan, most of them domestic caregivers, according to the data from the Workforce Development Agency.

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun made a public appeal, advising Taiwanese employers to show compassion and allow workers to return home if they needed to.

Workers who need to leave can call the 1955 Counseling and Protection Hotline for Foreign Workers for advice or inquiries on further details on how to apply to go home or how to get a flight to Indonesia.