‘Volcano Tsunami’ Hits Indonesia: 168 Killed, 745 Injured And 30 Missing
December 23rd, 2018 / 1:31 PM
A tsunami caused due to the eruption of island volcano has killed at least 168 people, after the waves hit Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, damaging hundreds of houses, said country’s disaster management agency. At least 745 people have been injured by the tsunami when it hit the coast on Saturday. As per the reports, search and rescue operations are underway, as of now at least 30 people are missing across different regions, as reported by BBC.
Cause of the tsunami
According to scientists from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, the tsunami was probably caused due to undersea landslides after the eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano. They also mentioned about the tidal waves caused due to full moon.
According to the national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, “The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast.” He added that Indonesia’s geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.
“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters) inland,” wrote Norwegian Øystein Lund Andersen on Facebook. He shared his horrific experience on Facebook saying that he was clicking pictures of the volcano, when he suddenly saw a huge wave coming towards him.
The volcano is 1,000 feet tall and about 124 miles southwest of capital Jakarta. It has been erupting since June. In July the ‘no gas’ areas were widened to 1.24 miles by the authorities.
Sunda strait links the Indian ocean and Java sea. According to the Geophysics agency, the tsunami took place 24 minutes after the volcanic eruption.
As per the disaster agency, the worst affected area is Pandeglang region where the number of deaths is 33 so far and 491 people were injured. The Pandeglang includes Ujung Kulon National Park and famous beaches. Reportedly, hundreds of people had to take refuge at the governor’s office in Bandar Lampung.
According to the New York Post, a resident of Pandeglang, Alif, told Metro TV that many people are still looking for their missing relatives. One of the eyewitness said that the tsunami waves reached nearly 10 feet high.
Footage taken by the disaster management agency showed flooded street and overturned cars. As many as 430 houses, nine hotels and ten vessels have been damaged, said the reports.
Indonesia: Prone to tsunami
Indonesia lies on the Ring of Fire- the line of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruption that circles the entire Pacific Rim. This makes Indonesia prone to tsunamis.
In September, a powerful earthquake led to the tsunami in the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which killed more than 2000 people. Also, in 2004, a series of massive waves triggered by a strong earthquake in the Indian ocean killed 22,8000 people in 14 countries, mostly in Indonesia, reported BBC.
Written by : Anukriti Ganesh (Student, IIJNM)
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