Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia after volcano eruption - MissiveBlog

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Monday, 24 December 2018

Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia after volcano eruption


A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra over the weekend following an underwater landslide believed to have been caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, Reuters reports.
Hundreds of homes and other buildings were heavily damaged when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, was quoted as saying.
The tsunami was caused by “an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau” and was exacerbated by abnormally high tides because of the full moon, Nugroho said.
Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground. By late afternoon on Sunday, the disaster agency had raised the death toll to 222, with 843 injured and 28 missing.
As night fell, rescue efforts continued but workers and ambulances were struggling to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris from damaged houses, overturned cars and fallen trees.

TV images showed when the tsunami hit the beach and residential areas in Pandeglang on Java, dragging with it victims, debris, and large chunks of wood and metal.
Anak Krakatau, which lies roughly halfway between Java and Sumatra, has been spewing ash and lava for months. It erupted again just after 9 pm on Saturday and the tsunami struck at around 9.30 pm, according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).
Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs on Saturday night, such as receding water or an earthquake, before waves of 2-3 meters washed ashore, according to media.
The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia, Reuters noted.
Authorities warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches, and a high-tide warning remained in place until Dec. 25 as officials evaluate the risks and try to determine the exact cause of the disaster.
The western coast of Banten province in Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, was the worst-hit area, Nugroho told reporters, adding that at least 35 people were reported dead in Lampung in southern Sumatra.
Television footage showed how the tsunami washed away an outdoor stage where a local rock band was performing for hundreds of guests at an end-of-year party for state utility company PLN.
Four of the musicians from the band, Seventeen, were killed, along with 29 PLN employees and relatives.
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, told reporters he had “ordered all relevant government agencies to immediately take emergency response measures, find victims and care for the injured” following the weekend disaster.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla warned that the death toll would “likely increase

Source :Reuters

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