MOGADISHU -- A tsunami hit the coast of the self-autonomous region of Puntland in northeast Somalia, a local official confirmed on Monday, saying three people are missing and presumed dead.

Saed Waberi, the District Commissioner of Qandala said most of the fishing boats of the residents, who relied mostly on fishing for their livelihood, were swept away by the huge waves which reached half a kilometer inland on Saturday night.

"People have become destitute overnight and we cannot do anything for them," Waberi told Chinese news agency Xinhua by phone from his office in Qandala.

Waberi said the district hall, a hotel and other houses near the coast were destroyed by the tsunami which was believed to be the result of an earthquake whose magnitude is not clear.

This is the second time that this region was hit by tsunami.

In 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, nearly 300 people were killed in the Puntland coastal district of Hafun at the northern tip of Somalia.