Indonesia Tsunami: 281 killed, 1016 injured
International

Indonesia Tsunami: 281 killed, 1016 injured

Agency News

Jakarta, Dec 24: At least 281 people have been killed and 584 injured with more than 10000 rendered homeless when a Tsunami struck off the Sunda Strait of Western Indonesia between Java and Sumatra destroying 611 housing units, 69 hotels, 60 shops and completely damaging 420 boats.

Indonesia had not even recuperated from the recent havoc done by the earthquake, a major tragedy has again jolted the nation. As per Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency the tsunami occurred at 21:27 pm Jakarta time (2257 IST), on Saturday hitting coastal areas of Sunda Strait, including Pandeglang and Serang districts of Banten province and south Lampung of Lampung province.

Authorities said the wave was likely caused by an eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano, possibly due to underwater landslides. 'The cause of the tsunami is still being investigated by BMKG to know for sure. Possible caused by underwater landslides due to eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau and tidal waves due to the full moon. The two combinations caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast. BMKG is still coordinating with the Geology Agency to ascertain the causes', Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head PR, Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management said in a tweet adding that the toll of victims is likely to increase.

Head of the meteorology and geophysics agency Dwikorita Karnawati has said that the tsunami was triggered by the eruption of the Krakatau Child volcano. "We predicted that the impact could be directly or indirectly, there was a possibility of landslides under the sea bed," Xinhua quoted Karnawati as saying in a press conference.

In Pandeglang district, the tsunami appeared with the height of four to five meters, leaving at least 17 people dead and scores others missing and at least 40 suffering from serious injury, said Endang Permana, head of emergency department of disaster management agency in the district. "Many people were missing, they were swept by waves when they were watching a performance in the coastal area," Permana said.

In Lampung Selatan district, evacuation of those under the rubble of collapsed buildings and search for missing persons who were swept by waves during the tsunami are underway, said Ketut Sukerta, head of the disaster management agency in the district. Areas that were severely affected were settlements and tours on Tanjung Lesung Beach, Sumur Beach, Teluk Lada Beach, Panimbang Beach, and Carita Beach.

The Anak Krakatau volcano has seen increased activity in recent months. Indonesia's geologic agency said that the volcano erupted for two minutes and 12 seconds on Friday, creating an ash cloud that rose 400 metres (1,300ft) above the mountain. It recommended that no-one be allowed within two kilometres of the crater.

The disaster management agency said that high seas as a result of the full moon may also have contributed to the strength of the waves. Indonesia is prone to tsunamis because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

In September, more than 2,000 people died when a powerful earthquake struck just off the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, setting off a tsunami that engulfed the coastal city of Palu.

On 26 December 2004, a series of huge waves triggered by a powerful earthquake in the Indian Ocean killed about 228,000 people in 14 countries, mostly in Indonesia. However, tsunamis caused by volcanic activity like this are less frequent. In August 1883, Krakatoa underwent one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in recorded history. UNI

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