At least 168 people have been killed and hundreds more injured after a tsunami triggered by the Anak Krakatau volcano struck Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra Saturday night. Huge tidal waves flattened buildings and washed away cars on both sides of the Sunda Strait that separates Java and Sumatra.
Among the worst hit areas are beaches that are known tourist hotspots. Anak Krakatau or the “Child of Krakatoa” has been active since June.
Authorities, meanwhile, warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tide warning remained in place through till Dec 25.
“Those who have evacuated, please do not return yet,” a Reuters reported quoted Rahmat Triyono, an official at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), as saying.
President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, said on Twitter that he had “ordered all relevant government agencies to immediately take emergency response steps, find victims and care for the injured”. Vice President Jusuf Kalla told a news conference the death toll would “likely increase”, the report added.
More than 12,000 people had died in Indonesia alone in the tsunami on the Indian Ocean on Dec 25, 2004, that was triggered by a massive earthquake and affected 13 countries. Over 2.25 lakh people had lost their lives in the Tsunami, considered one of the worst natural disasters ever.