At least 20 killed, 165 wounded as tsunami hits Indonesia

by Kim Boateng Posted on December 23rd, 2018

Jakarta, Indonesia : Government officials say that at least 20 people were killed after a tsunami hit the coast around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, according to multiple media reports.

The national disaster management agency says 165 people were hurt and dozens of buildings were damaged Saturday night.

The agency says the possible cause of the tsunami were undersea landslides after the Krakatoa volcano erupted.

The Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Viral footage posted by the head of the disaster management agency showed the aftermath of the tsunami, with flooded streets and an overturned car.

The Disaster Mitigation Agency said the tsunami was possibly caused by landslides from the Mount Anak Krakatau volcano and tidal waves due to the full moon.

“The two combinations caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast,” the agency said.

Norwegian volcano photographer Oystein Andersen was on the beach taking photos of the volcano after the earlier eruptions when the waves came.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m inland,” Andersen wrote on Facebook.

“Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully.”

Indonesia news websites described people running in fear from five-metre waves after the tsunami hit at 9:30 on Saturday night.

Beaches in the Pandenglang District, South Lampung and Serang in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra were the worst affected. Many of the dead were thought to be tourists, many from Jakarta.

Dozens of buildings were damaged, Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency said, adding that the death toll is likely to grow.

# The #tsunami in the Sunda Strait was allegedly due to the #krakatau mountain avalanche last night pic.twitter.com/nwYlNw5YLk — Syariefwae (@Syarief38194795) December 22, 2018

Members of the Jakarta pop band Seventeen, who were performing at the Tanjung Lesung Beach Resort, are missing in the aftermath of the tsunami, Tribunnews reported.

The Disaster Mitigation Agency said the tsunami was possibly caused by landslides from the Mount Anak Krakatau volcano and tidal waves due to the full moon.

“The two combinations caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast,” the agency said.

Norwegian volcano photographer Oystein Andersen was on the beach taking photos of the volcano after the earlier eruptions when the waves came.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m inland,” Andersen wrote on Facebook.

“Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully.”

Videos posted on social media showed flooded streets, an overturned car and people running up stairs to escape the waves.

The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in the world, killing more than 36,000 people.

Anak Krakatau, or Child of Krakatoa, emerged in 1927 from that caldera and has been recently erupting.

In September, more than 2,500 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which is just east of Borneo.

In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Indonesia is a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands home to 260 million people. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

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