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Indonesia tsunami kills hundreds, more than 800 injured

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The death toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to more than 220, with over 800 people injured, Aljazeera reported.

The tsunami hit both sides of Indonesia’s Sunda Strait on Saturday, sending a wall of water crashing about 20 meters inland that swept away hundreds of homes and hotels on the shores of Java and Sumatra.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Indonesia’s national disaster agency spokesperson, said the death toll on Sunday stood at 222 people, with 843 others injured and 28 still missing. 

“This number is predicted to increase because not all victims have been successfully evacuated, not all health centers have reported victims and not all locations have got complete data,” he added. 

Scientists from Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency, also known as BMKG, said it could have been caused by undersea landslides from the eruption on Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island that has been emerging from the sea since the 1920s.

They also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

The worst affected area was the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java, which encompasses the Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the disaster agency said. 

In the city of Bandar Lampung on southern Sumatra, hundreds of residents took refuge at the governor’s office.

Alif, a resident in Pandeglang district, said the tsunami reached about three meters high. He told MetroTV station that many people were still searching for missing relatives.

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TV footage showed roads blocked by debris from damaged houses, overturned cars, and fallen trees.

An Indonesia pop band was performing in western Java when the waves from the tsunami suddenly swept away the outdoor stage, musicians and fans. The water flowed up to 20 meters inland, killing dozens, injuring hundreds and damaging buildings.  

“The damage is quite consistent with the aftermath of a tsunami,” Kathy Mueller, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told Al Jazeera from Palu on the island of Sulawesi, adding that their teams are facing a massive support mission.

“A lot of the people have lost everything. Their homes have collapsed. A lot of the homes, shops, and businesses in this area are made of bamboo and thatched roofs or tinned roofs and they are not able to withstand the force of the wave. They are also built right along the shoreline, so they’ve lost in some cases their homes and their businesses, their ability to earn a living.”

The post Indonesia tsunami kills hundreds, more than 800 injured appeared first on Tribune Online.

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