At least 429 killed and 900 more injured in Indonesia - Sunda Strait tsunami
On 22 December 2018, a tsunami caused by an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Strait struck coastal regions of Banten and Lampung, Indonesia. At least 429 people were killed and more than 800 were injured. The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency(BMKG) attributed the tsunami to high tide and an underwater landslide caused by a volcanic eruption.
Lying on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia experiences a high frequency of earthquakes and is home to 127 active volcanoes. One of such volcanoes is the Anak Krakatau (literally 'child of Krakatau'), an active volcano in the Sunda Strait which emerged in 1927 following the 1883 Krakatoa eruption – one of the most violent eruptions in recorded history which killed more than 30,000 people through huge tsunamis and ashfall.
In the months leading up to the tsunami, Anak Krakatau had seen increased activity, with an eruption on 21 December lasting more than two minutes and producing an ash cloud 400 metres (1,300 ft) high.
At 21:03 local time (14:03 UTC), Anak Krakatau erupted and damaged local seismographic equipment though a nearby seismographic station detected continuous tremors. BMKG detected a tsunami event around 21:27 local time (14:27 UTC) at the western coast of Banten, but the agency had not detected any preceding tectonic events. The Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho released a statement attributing the tsunami to abnormally high tides caused by the moon combined with an underwater landslide caused by the Anak Krakatau eruption.
Previously, BMKG had issued a high wave warning for the waters surrounding the strait. Tide gauge for the tsunami measured around 90 centimetres (35 in) in Serang and 30 centimetres (12 in) in Lampung, on top of the 2 metres (6.6 ft) high tides. While Indonesia possessed a tsunami warning system for tsunamis caused by earthquakes, there were none in place for volcanic tsunamis, and hence there were no early warnings.
The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management initially reported 20 deaths and 165 injuries. By the following day, the figure had been revised to 43 deaths – 33 in Pandeglang, 7 in South Lampung, and 3 in Serang, 584 injured, and 2 missing, with most of the injuries recorded (491) also occurring in Pandeglang. The areas of Pandeglang struck by the wave included beaches which are popular tourist destinations, such as Tanjung Lesung. The death toll was further updated to 62 with 20 missing persons later that day. Missing persons were also reported from small islands which are part of Pandeglang Regency. By 13:00 local time on 23 December, BNPB had confirmed 168 fatalities and 745 injuries with 30 having been reported as missing, and the figure was further increased to 222 dead and 843 injured by 16:00.
Among the victims were Aa Jimmy, an Indonesian actor and comedian, and several members of the Seventeen band including the drummer Andi, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, the bassist and the manager. A video circulated online showing the band's stage being struck by the tsunami in the middle of their show at Tanjung Lesung, causing it to collapse and the audience to flee. Tour groups from state owned company PLN and the Sports and Youth Ministry were also affected by the tsunami, with some of the members dead, missing or injured.
Around 400 houses in Pandeglang located near the coast collapsed or were heavily damaged due to the wave, in addition to 9 hotels. 30 other houses in South Lampung were also heavily damaged. The road connecting Serang and Pandeglang was cut off.
President of Indonesia Joko Widodo ordered for an immediate field response by BNPB, the Social Ministry, and the Indonesian National Armed Forces. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail offered assistance. The Ministry of Tourismtemporarily halted all promotion for tourism to Lampung and Banten.
Hours after the event, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered help, aid, and assistance towards the affected areas, as well as sending his condolences through Twitter. The same thing was expressed by Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi through his Twitter and express his condolences and ready to help the Indonesian Government.
Following the tsunami, a malfunction caused the tsunami warning siren at a Pandeglang village to ring out and prompted residents to evacuate.
Sources: wikipedia.org, news.lv
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