Indonesia tsunami: Death toll rises to 373 amid fears Krakatoa could trigger another wave any timeOur Foreign Staff•Rescuers searched for more survivors and victims on debris-strewn beaches on Monday as Indonesia reeled from the second deadly tsunami to hit it this year.The waves that swept terrified people into the sea on Saturday night along the Sunda Strait followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, whose name means „Child of Krakatoa and is one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands.Scientists said on Monday that a large chunk of the southern flank of the volcanic island may have slipped into the ocean just minutes before the tsunami hit. Such a scenario could strike anytime without any warning. The death toll has risen to 373, with more than 1,000 people injured along the coastlines of western Java and southern Sumatra islands, the national disaster agency said on Monday. „The number of victims and damage will continue to rise,” said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.Aid agencies were quick to deploy to the area, located just a few hours drive from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. The roads were challenging but passable, Aulia Arriani, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Red Cross told the Telegraph.“Our challenge is to find the missing and to evacuate the people who are still trapped. In the first phase of emergency response we will be evacuating people for the next two to three days,” she said. Ms Arriani added that local hospitals and clinics had been flooded with casualties and dead bodies. “People in the disaster are need food, drinking water, tarpaulins and medical help,” she said. The Indonesian Medical Association says it is sending more doctors and medical equipment and that many of the injured are in need of orthopedic and neurosurgery expertise. It says most patients are domestic tourists who were visiting the beach during the long holiday weekend.The tsunami that struck the island of Sulawesi on September 28 was accompanied by a powerful earthquake that gave residents a brief warning before the waves struck.On Saturday night, the ground did not shake beforehand to alert people to the oncoming wave that ripped buildings from their foundations in seconds and swept terrified concertgoers on a resort beach into the sea.Dramatic video posted on social media showed the Indonesian pop band Seventeen performing under a tent on Tanjung Lesung beach at a concert for employees of a state-owned electricity company. 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, as was his wife, Dylan Sahara, whose 26th birthday it was on Sunday.An Indonesia policeman searches for victims amongst the debris at the Mutiara Carita Cottages in Carita in Banten province The worst-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Java’s Banten province, which encompasses Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the agency said.Joko Widodo, the Indonesian president, who is scheduled to visit the stricken area on Monday, expressed his sympathy and ordered government agencies to respond quickly to the disaster.”My deep condolences to the victims in Banten and Lumpung provinces,” he said. „Hopefully, those who are left have patience.”In the city of Bandar Lampung on Sumatra, hundreds of residents took refuge at the governor’s office, while at the popular resort area of Anyer beach on Java, some survivors wandered in the debris.A man walks through debris after hit by tsunami as they carry their belongingsMany of those affected were domestic tourists enjoying the long holiday weekend, but foreigners were visiting the area ahead of Christmas as well.Some roads remained blocked by debris and traffic, with families streaming out of the area for fear of further tsunamis.Why a landslide was the likely triggerScientists said on Monday that the consensus, based on satellite images and the information available, was that the collapse of a portion of the volcano triggered the killer waves.This aerial picture taken on December 23, 2018 by Bisnis Indonesia shows the Anak (Child) Krakatoa volcano erupting in the Sunda Straits off the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of JavaImages captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite showed that a large portion on the southern flank of the volcano slid off into the ocean.”Underwater landside is the leading theory,” said Sam Taylor-Offord, a seismologist at GNS Science in Wellington.”So when that land pushes into the ocean … it displaces the ocean surface causing the vertical displacement that causes the tsunami,” he said, adding however that the lack of data and access made it impossible to ascertain this theory.
David Lipson@davidlipsonWow. This is the volcano “Child of Krakatoa” believed to have caused the Indonesian Tsunami. Video courtesy of Susi Air #tsunamiAnak Krakatau, halfway between Java and Sumatra, has been spewing ash and lava for months. It erupted about 24 minutes before the tsunami struck, and that could have triggered the landslide.Taylor-Offord said the eruption and „high noise environment” may be why the landslide was not recorded seismically.The fact the tsunami was triggered by a volcano, and not by an earthquake, may be the reason why no tsunami warning was signalled, scientists said.Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as an earthquake or receding water along the shore, before waves up to 10 feet high surged in.Jose Borrero, coastal engineering expert specialising in tsunami hazards at eCoast Marine Consulting, said landslide-generated volcanic tsunami behave idiosyncratically, compared with tsunami generated by earthquakes, which are better studied.This is because there are so many different variables and there is a „sweet spot” of exactly the right speed and volume of rocks slipping into and sea and deeper to generate a wave.”In Indonesia, we’ve all been waiting for another big earthquake tsunami and then boom, here we have a volcanic landslide one,” Mr Borrero said.”I’ve seen a few bits of imagery that suggest there’s some sort of slant collapse that may extend underwater but none of this will be confirmed until there can be an offshore survey where they go and map the sea floor.”Anak Krakatau or „child of Krakatau” emerged from the Krakatau volcano, which in 1888 erupted with such force the blast was heard all the way in Perth, said Mika McKinnon, a geophysicist based in Vancouver, Canada.Further eruptions have continued from the massive crater left behind.Mr McKinnon said volcanoes were weak, sloppy heaps of loosely bound rocks all slanted downhill and they slip off all the time.There are no early warnings systems that can detect such landslide-driven tsunami and Anak Krakatau is so close to shore there would never have been enough time to react and clear out the population.”It’s hard to identify landslide-triggered tsunami, especially quickly enough to issue useful warnings,” said Mr McKinnon.”A similar event at Anak Krakatau might trigger another one, or it might not. Maybe a month later, or year from now. We will never know,” she said.
World Indonesia tsunami survivors remain jittery as deaths hit 429 NINIEK KARMINI•Indonesia tsunami leaves beach towns devestated SUMUR, Indonesia (AP) — Panicked residents, police and soldiers in this remote fishing village clobbered by a devastating weekend tsunami ran to higher ground Tuesday, shouting „Water is coming! Water is coming!” and reciting verses from the Quran as emergency messages were broadcast over mosque speakers.It proved to be a false alarm, but a similar frenzy broke out in Tanjung Lesung, another tsunami-stricken area located hours away, as unsettled survivors of the disaster remained traumatized by a tragedy that killed more than 420 people and left thousands homeless.Meanwhile, Christmas celebrations were replaced by somber prayers, as church leaders called on Christians across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, to pray for tsunami victims.Unlike other tsunamis that have hit disaster-prone Indonesia following large earthquakes, Saturday’s big waves blasted ashore at night without warning. The eruption of Anak Krakatau, or Child of Krakatoa, a volcano in the Sunda Strait, is believed to have created a landslide on the volcano’s slope, displacing a large volume of water that slammed into the islands of Java and Sumatra.People in Sumur village, which has been slow to receive aid due to roads being cut off, remained stunned by how quickly the tsunami hit. The beach, located just a few kilometers from the tourist island of Umang near Java’s western tip, is popular for snorkeling and other water activities. The tsunami decimated the area, ripping houses from their foundations and bulldozing concrete buildings.Scientists have said the tsunami’s waves were recorded in several places at about 1 meter (3.3 feet) high, but residents of Sumur insisted they towered more than 3 meters (10 feet) there. They said a soaring white wall of water roared toward them at high speeds, ripping trees out of the ground by their roots.”There was no sign of a tsunami when we were at the beach. The sea didn’t recede,” said Tati Hayati, a housewife, who was enjoying a pleasant evening with 10 other people when the disaster hit. „It was calm and bright with the full moon.”When she spotted high, fast-moving waves launching toward the shore, she ran to her car and managed to get inside. But she couldn’t outrun it. She said the car was struck by three waves, breaking out the back window and filling the vehicle with gushing water.”We were locked inside. The car was swaying in the waves and we thought we would all die,” Hayati said. „We almost could not breathe and I almost gave up when I groped the key in the water and managed to open the door, and the water began to recede. We got out of the car and ran to safety.”The disaster was compounded because it occurred over a busy holiday weekend before Christmas when many people had fled crowded cities such as Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, to relax at popular beach areas.Pastor Markus Taekz said Tuesday that his Rahmat Pentecostal Church in the hard-hit area of Carita did not celebrate Christmas with joyous songs this year. Instead, only about 100 people showed up for the service, which usually brings in double that number. Many congregation members had already left the area for locations away from the disaster zone.”This is an unusual situation because we have a very bad disaster that killed hundreds of our sisters and brothers in Banten,” Taekz said, referring to the province on Java island. „So our celebration is full of grief.”The death toll climbed to 429 on Tuesday, with more than 1,400 people injured and at least 128 missing, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency.He said more than 16,000 people were displaced and that there was an urgent need for heavy equipment in the Sumur subdistrict near Ujung Kulon National Park to help get aid flowing and reach people who may be injured or trapped.Military troops, government personnel and volunteers continued searching along debris-strewn beaches. Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out where victims were found, and weeping relatives identified the dead. Many searched for missing loved ones at hospital morgues.The lead singer of the Indonesian pop band Seventeen located the body of his dead wife after posting emotional posts on social media, vowing that he would not leave her. The group was performing at a beach hotel when the tsunami was captured on video smashing into their stage, killing several band members and crew.Anak Krakatau is a volcanic island that formed in the early part of the 20th century near the site of the cataclysmic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which killed more than 30,000 people and hurled so much ash that it turned day to night in the area and reduced global temperatures.The head of Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said Saturday’s tsunami was likely caused by Anak Krakatau’s volcanic activity and so could not have been picked up by sensors, which monitor conventional earthquakes responsible for more than 90 percent of Indonesia’s tsunamis.She said the tsunami was probably caused by the collapse of a big section of the volcano’s slope. Anak Krakatau has been erupting since June and did so again 24 minutes before the tsunami, according to the geophysics agency. Other scientists have said an underwater landslide may also have contributed to the disaster.Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.In September, thousands were believed killed by a quake and tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. A quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August.Saturday’s disaster came ahead of the anniversary of the massive Asian tsunami that hit Dec. 26, 2004, after a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island spawned huge waves. The giant wall of water killed some 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Indonesia._Associated Press writers Margie Mason and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.
SUMUR, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on the tsunami that hit parts of Indonesia (all times local):
The death toll from the tsunami that hit Indonesian islands without warning Saturday night has passed 420 with more than 1,400 people injured.
Thousands of people were left homeless when the waves smashed homes on coastal areas of western Java and southern Sumatra.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had climbed to 429 on Tuesday and at least 128 were missing.
Military troops, government personnel and volunteers were searching along debris-strewn beaches. Where victims were found, body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.
The Christmas holiday was somber with prayers for tsunami victims in the Indonesian region hit by waves that struck without warning Saturday night.
Markus Taekz said the Rahmat Pentecostal Church in the hard-hit area of Carita did not celebrate with joyous music.
Instead, he said only about 100 people showed up for the Christmas Eve service, usually attended by double that number, because many people had left the area for the capital, Jakarta, or other areas away from the disaster zone.
Noting the disaster that killed hundreds, he said, „Our celebration is full of grief.”
Indonesia is mostly Muslim with Christians, Hindus and other religions as well. Church leaders called on Christians to pray for victims of the tsunami.