Massive tsunami strikes Indonesia without any warning leaving 222 dead and nearly 900 injured
The islands of Java and Sumatra situated on either side of the Strait are the worst hit in the calamity possibly caused by the undersea landslides which were triggered by the eruption of Krakatoa volcano.
A volcano-triggered tsunami has hit the coast on Indonesia's Sunda Strait to the Indian Ocean, killing at least 222 people and injuring nearly 900. The islands of Java and Sumatra situated on either side of the Strait are the worst hit, in the calamity possibly caused by the undersea landslides which were, according to BBC, triggered by the eruption of Krakatoa volcano.
The Washington Post, however, reports that Krakatoa has been erupting since June and it could not have triggered the tsunami, and that the cause still remains unclear. “My suspicion is that there was a landslide under the sea. Perhaps a trench crumbled,” The media house quotes Igan Sutawijaya, a volcano and geological disaster expert, as saying. “It doesn’t make sense that it was caused by the eruption of the Krakatoa.”
Meanwhile, the Indonesian government officials are expecting the casualty figures caused by the tsunami that struck around 9.30 pm local time on Saturday to continue to mount. Images on social media shows destroyed buildings and structures, overturned automobiles and debris and trees blocking roads.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s national disaster agency, said in a statement, “Data collection is still ongoing. It’s likely that the number of victims and damages will rise.” He also requested the public to refrain from the beaches, adding: “The national disaster agency and the geology agency are still investigating [the tsunami].”
Driving past debris from the impact zone of the tsunami in #Anyer. Many local houses are damaged. Note also the wierd color of the sea, never seen it like that. #Indonesia #Tsunami pic.twitter.com/c5ryey6ElO— Øystein L. Andersen (@OysteinLAnderse) December 23, 2018
Meanwhile, Rahmat Triyono, an official at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, urged, “Please do not be around the beaches around the Sunda Strait. Those who have evacuated, please do not return yet.”
Seismically, Indonesia sits on an active “ring of fire” in the Pacific Ocean, and thus, is prone to natural disasters. In August this year, the archipelago's Lombok island was hit by two back-to-bac earthquakes that killed at least 563 people, while 1,000 were confirmed casualityes and over 417,000 people were displaced.