At least 43 killed, 584 injured after 'volcano tsunami' hits Indonesia

Agencies
Jakarta, Indonesia Published: Dec 23, 2018, 06:57 AM(IST)

File photo: The Anak Krakatoa volcano. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

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 the Anak Krakatoa volcano.

Indonesia’s disaster agency said 43 people were dead and another 584 injured after a tsunami struck coastal areas around the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java on Saturday night.

“We’re recapping reports of impacts from the tsunami that struck in the Sunda Strait, particularly Serang, Pandeglang and South Lampung,” Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Metro TV on Sunday morning, referring to the tidal wave linked to an earlier eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano.

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm local time (1430 GMT) on Saturday, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

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.

Anak Krakatau volcano

Residents sit inside a mosque after they were evacuated following high waves and the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano at Labuan district in Pandeglang Regency, Banten province, Indonesia. (Image source: Reuters)

Indonesia's geological agency was investigating the cause, Nugroho said, adding the death toll would likely increase.

Anak Krakatoa is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa's deadly 1883 eruption.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire', where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

The country regularly experiences deadly earthquakes, including most recently in the city of Palu on Sulawesi island where a quake and tsunami killed thousands of people.

Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the archipelago.

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