Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia after Krakatau eruption
By Johan Purnomo and Adi Kurniawan•Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia after Krakatau eruption By Johan Purnomo and Adi KurniawanPANDEGLANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed to have been caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials said on Sunday.Hundreds of homes and other buildings were heavily damaged when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency, said.Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground. By late afternoon on Sunday, the disaster agency had raised the death toll to 222, with 843 injured and 28 missing.This year the vast archipelago, which sits on the Pacific „Ring of Fire”, has suffered its worst death toll from disasters in over a decade. Earthquakes flattened parts of the tourist island of Lombok in July and August, and a double quake-and-tsunami killed more than 2,000 people on Sulawesi island in September.As night fell, rescue efforts continued but workers and ambulances were struggling to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris from damaged houses, overturned cars and fallen trees.TV images showed when the tsunami hit the beach and residential areas in Pandeglang on Java, dragging with it victims, debris, and large chunks of wood and metal.Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs on Saturday night, such as receding water or an earthquake, before waves of 2-3 meters (6-10 feet) washed ashore, according to media.The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.Øystein Lund Andersen, a Norwegian photographer, was in Anyer town with his family when Saturday’s tsunami struck.”I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20 meters inland. Next wave entered the hotel area where I was staying and downed cars on the road behind it,” he said on Facebook. „Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground through forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of by the locals.”Graphic of disaster zone https://tmsnrt.rs/2RdjsMd EVACUATION WARNING Authorities warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tide warning remained in place until Dec. 25 as officials evaluate the risks and try to determine the exact cause of the disaster.”Those who have evacuated, please do not return yet,” said Rahmat Triyono, an official at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, told reporters he had „ordered all relevant government agencies to immediately take emergency response measures, find victims and care for the injured”.Vice President Jusuf Kalla warned that the death toll would „likely increase”.Heavy equipment is being moved in to help with rescue efforts as well as water and sanitation equipment. The military said it was deploying troops to distribute aid and blankets, as well as sending in medics.The western coast of Banten province in Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, was the worst-hit area, Nugroho told reporters, adding that at least 35 people were reported dead in Lampung in southern Sumatra.With the exact cause of the disaster still unknown, authorities are wary of the risk of a recurrence. Public works minister Basuki Hadimuljono said „emergency operations would be continuously carried out, but would stop at the stop at the first sign of possible high tides”.„WASHED AWAY” Television footage showed how the tsunami washed away an outdoor stage where a local rock band was performing for hundreds of guests at an end-of-year party for state utility company PLN.Four of the musicians from the band, Seventeen, were killed, along with 29 PLN employees and relatives.”The water washed away the stage which was located very close to the sea,” the band said in a statement. „The water rose and dragged away everyone at the location. We have lost loved ones, including our bassist and manager … and others are missing.”Police officers rescued a young boy who was trapped in a car buried under fallen trees and rubble for nearly 12 hours, according to a video of his rescue posted on Twitter by the Indonesian National Police.The tsunami was caused by „an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau” and was exacerbated by abnormally high tides because of the full moon, Nugroho said.Anak Krakatau, which lies roughly halfway between Java and Sumatra, has been spewing ash and lava for months. It erupted again just after 9 p.m. on Saturday and the tsunami struck at around 9.30 p.m., according to BMKG.Ben van der Pluijm, an earthquake geologist and a professor in the University of Michigan, said the tsunami may have been caused by a „partial collapse” of Anak Krakatau.”Instability of the slope of an active volcano can create a rock slide that moves a large volume of water, creating local tsunami waves that can be very powerful. This is like suddenly dropping a bag of sand in a tub filled with water,” he said.The eruption of Krakatau, previously known as Krakatoa, in 1883 killed more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis.Anak Krakatau, which means child of Krakatau, is the island that emerged from the area once occupied by Krakatau, which was destroyed in 1883. It first appeared in 1927 and has been growing ever since.(Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin, Tabita Diela, Jessica Damiana, Wilda Asmarini in Jakarta; Writing by Fergus Jensen, Kanupriya Kapoor and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Alison Williams and David Stamp)
Rescuers dig through rubble for survivors after Indonesian tsunami kills 280By Fergus Jensen•A woman cries as she reads a list of victims who were killed in a tsunami, at Carita in Padeglang, Banten province A woman cries as she reads a list of victims who were killed in a tsunami, at Carita in Padeglang, Banten province, Indonesia, December 23, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Asep Fathulrahman/ via REUTERS By Fergus Jensen LABUAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – The death toll from a tsunami that hit the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra after the Anak Krakatau volcano erupted rose to at least 280 on Monday, officials said, as rescuers using heavy machinery and their bare hands searched for more victims.Hundreds more were injured when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday. More than 3,000 coastal residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground, with a high-tide warning in place until Tuesday.The vast archipelago, which sits on the Pacific „Ring of Fire”, has suffered its worst annual death toll from disasters in more than a decade. Earthquakes flattened parts of the tourist island of Lombok in July and August, and a double quake-and-tsunami killed more than 2,000 people on Sulawesi island in September.Search and rescue officials used their bare hands and some heavy machinery to clear the remains of buildings on Monday. Government and non-government aid trickled in to Pandeglang, the worst-affected area on Java’s west coast.Indonesia’s disaster agency had put the death toll at 222 on Sunday, with about 850 injured and 28 people missing, but raised it to 280 early on Monday. A disaster mitigation agency official in Banten province named Jhony told reporters most victims were Indonesian holidaymakers.Dudi Dwiriadi, a district military commander, said personnel and volunteers had been briefed to sweep at least 100 km (60 miles) of coastline in search of victims.The timing of the tsunami over the Christmas holiday season evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.Graphic of disaster zone: https://tmsnrt.rs/2RdjsMd ROADS BLOCKED Some roads remained blocked by debris and traffic, with families streaming out of the area for fear of further tsunamis. President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, was scheduled to visit the area later on Monday.Television images showed when the tsunami hit the beach and residential areas in Pandeglang, dragging with it victims, debris, and large chunks of wood and metal.Many coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as an earthquake, on Saturday night before waves of 2-3 meters (6-10 feet) washed ashore.Yuni, a resident of Lampung in Sumatra, was watching television at home when she heard the water coming.”I heard a rumbling sound and I thought it was the wind. After I opened the door, water came in quickly and dragged me out. When I saw outside, the sea was receding. I decided to run and go as the water came again for the second time,” she said.Roman, a resident of the area who operates tours to Anak Krakatau, said by text message the weather had been fine when the waves struck, although residents had become wary of the rumbling volcano.He said many others had taken refuge in his elevated village of Tahura Carita, which is about 100 meters from the sea. Evacuees were relying on instant noodles, he said.Heavy equipment was being moved in to help with rescue efforts, as well as water and sanitation equipment. The military said it was deploying troops to distribute aid and blankets, as well as sending in medics.The western coast of Banten province in Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, was also badly hit, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency.At least 48 people were reported dead in Lampung in southern Sumatra, he said.With the exact cause of the disaster still unknown, authorities were wary of the risk of a recurrence. Public works minister Basuki Hadimuljono said emergency operations would be carried out continuously but „would stop at the first sign of possible high tides”.„WASHED AWAY”Television footage showed how the tsunami washed away an outdoor stage where Indonesian rock band Seventeen was performing for hundreds of guests at an end-of-year party for state utility company PLN.At least four band members and support crew were killed, lead singer Riefian „Ifan” Fajarsyah told followers in a tearful Instagram account. The band’s drummer was among the missing.Another 29 PLN employees and relatives were also killed.Anak Krakatau, roughly halfway between Java and Sumatra, has been spewing ash and lava for months. It erupted again just after 9 p.m. on Saturday and the tsunami struck about 30 minutes later, according to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).The tsunami was caused by an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau and was exacerbated by abnormally high tides because of the full moon, Nugroho said.Ben van der Pluijm, an earthquake geologist and professor at the University of Michigan, said the tsunami may have been caused by a partial collapse of Anak Krakatau.”Instability of the slope of an active volcano can create a rock slide that moves a large volume of water, creating local tsunami waves that can be very powerful. This is like suddenly dropping a bag of sand in a tub filled with water,” he said.The eruption of Krakatau, previously known as Krakatoa, in 1883 killed more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis.Anak Krakatau, which means child of Krakatau, is the island that emerged from the area once occupied by Krakatau, which was destroyed in 1883. It first appeared in 1927 and has been growing ever since.(Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin and Tabita Diela; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Paul Tait)
Shocking footage of tsunami crashing through band’s stage•Content is currently unavailable.WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT: A tsunami triggered by an underwater landslide from volcanic eruptions has hit beaches in Indonesia, killing at least 62 people and injuring 600 more.People ran in fear as five-metre waves flooded streets and swept away homes and vehicles on Saturday night.A dramatic video posted on social media showed the Jakarata pop band Seventeen performing at a tent at a beach in Tanjung Lesung when a wave collapses the stage from behind. People can be heard screaming and seen running.The band released a statement saying their bass player and road manager were found dead, while four other members of their group remained missing.The band had been on stage when the tsunami hit. Source: @florielicious/ TwitterThe terrifying moment has been viewed thousands of times on social media. Source: @florielicious/ TwitterThe group’s lead vocalist, Riefian “Ifan” Fajarsyah, has been the only survivor found so far.He posted a video to Instagram looking shell shocked and asking for prayers.He told an Indonesian TV station he was dragged into the sea and there were 20 to 24 bodies around him.
The volcano is located in the Sunda Strait between the island of Java and Sumatra.
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.
The death toll was likely to grow.
The Australian Embassy in Jakarta said it was making urgent enquiries to determine whether any Australians had been affected.
Norwegian volcano photographer Oystein Andersen was on the beach taking photos of the volcano after the earlier eruptions when the waves came.
“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m inland,” Andersen wrote on Facebook.
“Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully.”
Videos posted on social media showed flooded streets, an overturned car and people running up stairs to escape the waves.
Anak Krakatau, or Child of Krakatoa, emerged in 1927 from the caldera of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. It has been erupting since June.
That 1883 eruption was one of the deadliest in the world, killing more than 36,000 people and creating a column of ash 500 metres high.
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.
With AAP, Associated Press, dpa
While many across the country will be hoping for a white Christmas this year, the areas expected to have some white on the ground will be restricted to the northern tier of the country, and in the higher elevations of the West.
The standard for a white Christmas is an inch of snow on the ground during the morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
The regions most likely to have a blanket of snow on the ground this Christmas include, the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the mountains of the West.
With a lack of arctic air across much of the country this December, the likelihood of a white Christmas really comes down to the storm systems on Christmas Eve.
This is especially true for the Northeast, where many places like Boston and Pittsburgh have been as much as 8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for the second half of the month.
However, snow falling Sunday night and into Christmas Eve will bring snow from the Great Lakes into the Northeast.
„A clipper system is forecast to race from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast into Monday,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff.
This will bring a swath of light snow accumulation from northern Michigan to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Duff said.
Across much of the region receiving this snow, accumulations are expected to be light, with only an inch or two of accumulation. The exception will be some of the higher elevations and downwind of several of the Great Lakes.
„Snow showers and even a few heavier squalls will continue downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario on Monday and Monday evening,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.
This is the region most likely to have several inches of snow, helping to ensure a white Christmas in parts of western and central New York.
Download the free AccuWeather app to see how much snow is expected for your area.
For the rest of the Northeast, the determination of if this year’s Christmas will have a blanket of snow is determined by how quickly the snow melts before Tuesday morning.
Places across Pennsylvania, the Hudson Valley and southern New England are expected to have high temperatures in the upper 30s or lower 40s for a time on Monday. Temperatures this high could melt the little bit of snow accumulated on the ground, or bring the amount of snow below an inch.
The spine of the Appalachian Mountains from western Pennsylvania to North Carolina had a little snow on the ground as of Sunday. The light snow accumulation ahead of Christmas may be enough to combat any warmer air and melting on Christmas Eve.
As of Sunday, a few inches of snow continued to blanket the ground across eastern South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern parts of the Lower Peninsula.
With the fresh coating of snow in these areas over the weekend, plus the reinforcing shot of cold air, most of this snow is expected to stick around into Christmas Day.
„A weak storm system moving into Iowa on Christmas Eve night could bring a little snow to Iowa, southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois right before the holiday,” said Travis.
It is possible that this snow could reach an inch of accumulation in some spots, and it is likely that it remains cold enough into Christmas morning for any of this snow to remain early in the day; however, temperatures are expected to quickly rise above freezing, and by midday, areas without much of a snow depth could be left with a green Christmas afternoon.
With no snow on the ground across Nebraska and through the central Plains, and mild temperatures expected to continue through the holiday, a white Christmas is not expected across the rest of the Plains.
The higher elevations of the West, from Colorado to Washington and California, boast the best chances for a white Christmas.
„Most of the snow will already be on the ground prior to Christmas Day in the West, with just a few exceptions,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
A moderate snow depth was already in place as of Sunday across the Rockies from western Colorado to Idaho and western Montana, as well as in the Sierras and across the Cascades of Oregon and Washington.
„A storm system will dive southward on Christmas Eve afternoon and night, spreading rain and snow from southern Oregon and Northern California into Nevada,” said Sosnowski.
This snow will bring a fresh blanket of snow for the mountainous areas that already have several inches of snow on the ground. But this could also bring some snow to the lower terrain across eastern Oregon and much of Nevada.
A push of cold air following the storm is likely to keep any accumulations around into Christmas Day.
As this storm moves farther east, it is likely to bring a little snow into Utah and parts of Arizona on Christmas Day. So, while areas such as Flagstaff might not start off Christmas Day with snow on the ground, it could turn into an unofficial white Christmas by the afternoon or evening.
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