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.
JAKARTA: A tsunami triggered by an underwater landslide from volcanic eruptions has hit beaches in Indonesia, killing at least 222 people and injuring 800 more.
The worst affected area was the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java.Tourists were also affected during the holiday weekend ahead of Christmas.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo said in a statement that he had instructed the army, disaster agencies and the social affairs ministry to work together to handle the disaster.
Spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster agency says tsunami death toll rises to 62 with 20 missing.People ran in fear as 5 metre waves flooded streets and swept away homes and vehicles on Saturday night.
Scientists from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency said it could have been caused by undersea landslides from the eruption of Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island formed over years from the nearby Krakatau volcano.
In 2004, an estimated 230,000 people were killed on Christas Eve when a tsunami struck 13 countries on the Indian Ocean including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
Indonesian disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 430 houses, nine hotels, 10 vessels and dozens of cars were reported to have been damaged at Banten’s Carita beach on Java.
Anak Krakatoa is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa’s deadly 1883 eruption, which is estimated to have killed more than 36,000 people.
The death toll was likely to grow.Videos posted on social media showed flooded streets, an overturned car and people running up stairs to escape the waves.
The Australian Embassy in Jakarta said it was making urgent enquiries to determine whether any Australians had been affected.