Over168 Killed In Tidal Wave Following Eruption Of Volcano In Indonesia

Over168 Killed In Tidal Wave Following Eruption Of Volcano In Indonesia

Dec. 23, 2018, 4:17 p.m.

The death toll from a tsunami in Indonesia believed to be caused by a volcanic eruption on Anak Krakatau has risen to 168, with another 30 people missing.

Indonesia's disaster management agency said 745 had been left injured and it feared the number of victims may rise because rescue teams had not yet reached all the affected areas.

The tsunami is reported to have reached 10ft high and hit coastal areas in the north and south-east of the Sunda Strait, which runs between the islands of Java and Sumatra, at 9.30pm on Saturday (2.30pm UK time).

Scientists are investigating whether the tsunami was triggered by undersea landslides following an eruption on Anak Krakatau, which means Child of Karakatoa. It was formed following the catastrophic eruption that obliterated the original island of Krakatoa in 1883.

Scientists have also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

Hundreds of houses including hotels have been swept away, and it is thought tourists could have been caught up in the disaster on the long weekend before Christmas.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is "monitoring the situation". In updated travel advice it said people in the area should follow the advice of local authorities.

Australia and New Zealand said they had no information their citizens were among the victims but were continuing to check.

The worst affected area is the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java, which encompasses the Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, to the south-east of Anak Krakatau.

The tsunami also hit the Serang province on Java and South Lampung in Sumatra, which lies to the north of the volcano.

Rescue workers and ambulances were finding it difficult to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris from damaged houses, overturned cars and fallen trees.

Pictures show widespread devastation, while video footage shows Indonesian band Seventeen being swept off the stage as they performed a gig at the beachside resort of Tanjung Lesung in Pandelang.

The band said in a statement their bass player and road manager had been killed.

In the city of Bandar Lampung on southern Sumatra, hundreds of residents took refuge at the governor's office.

Anak Krakatau formed in 1927, 44 years after the cataclysmic 1883 eruption that destroyed the original Krakatoa and killed tens of thousand of people.

Four explosions ripped the island apart and were so violent they were reportedly heard almost 2,000 miles away in Perth, Australia and 3,000 miles away in Rodrigues, near Mauritius.

The official death toll was put at 36,417 by Dutch authorities but other estimates put the figure as high as 120,000.

The pressure wave from the final explosion travelled around the world three-and-a-half times according to barograph recordings and average global temperatures fell by up to 1.2 degrees Celsius in the following 12 months.

It continued to affected weather patterns for years and temperatures did not return to normal for five years.

A tsunami following a volcanic eruption killed at least 168 people when it slammed without warning into popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on Saturday night, cutting a swathe of destruction and triggering mass panic as it swept inland.

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) following the eruption of a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 168 confirmed dead, 745 people injured and 30 reported missing across three regions, he said.

Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into an open-air concert by pop group "Seventeen" -- hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience.

In a tearful Instagram post, frontman Riefian Fajarsyah said the band's bassist and road manager had been killed.

Images of the aftermath of the tsunami in coastal areas showed a trail of uprooted trees and debris strewn across beaches. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular day-tripping spot on the west coast of Java.

Asep Perangkat, who fled Carita beach Saturday night, said he was with his family when the wave surged through the town, carving a path of destruction.

"Cars were dragged about 10 metres and so were containers," Perangkat told AFP.

Residents evacuate from damaged homes on Carita beach in Indonesia after the tsunami hit the area"Buildings on the edge of the beach were destroyed, trees and electric poles fell to the ground."All the residents that are safe ran to the forest," he said.

In Lampung province, on the other side of the strait, Lutfi Al Rasyid said he fled the beach in Kalianda city in fear for his life.

Moutain erruption.jpg

Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

"The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast," Nugroho said, but added that Indonesia's geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.

The wave swamped parts of the coast around the Sunda Strait, but was most damaging in Pandeglang district, on Java's western tip, where at least 33 people died and 491 people were injured.

Heavy equipment was being transported to badly-hit areas to help search for victims, Nugroho said, adding evacuation posts and public kitchens were being set up for evacuees.

In December 26, 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

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