Death Toll from Massive Indonesia Tsunami Rises


The death toll from a tsunami that struck western Indonesia Saturday has risen to at least 430 people with dozens still missing, CNN reports.

The Anak Krakatau volcano, located in a straight between the islands Sumatra and Java, began erupting a day before the tsunami struck. Scientists believe landslides triggered by the volcano’s eruption caused the tsunami that hit Sumatra and Java, according to The Guardian.

The tsunami swept through the straight, killing hundreds of unprepared Indonesians and injuring at least 1,500. The massive wave displaced roughly 22,000 people that lived on the coasts of the Suma Straight, CNN reports.

“Most survivors have been huddling in temporary shelters away from the shore, but have started to emerge to search for loved ones and assess damage to their property,” Indonesian Red Cross disaster management head Arifin M. Hadi told CNN.

“Our teams are seeing many broken bones and broken homes, and people who are very shaken. Indonesians have withstood a string of disasters this year and with them, so much loss and misery,” Hadi said.

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The tsunami caught Indonesia by surprise. No seismic activity was recorded before the tsunami struck, which could have caused the government to issue an evacuation. No evacuation order or warning was given. The area around the Suma Straight is one of the most populated areas of Indonesia.

The tsunami hit one beach during a concert, flooding the venue and dragging many out to sea when the current receded.

The disaster follows a similar event in September that resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 Indonesians on the island of Sulawesi. A 7.5-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck the island, injuring around 4,400 and severely damaging or destroying 67,000 homes.

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