More than 200 people were killed after a tsunami struck Indonesia on Saturday, hitting the islands of Sumatra and Java.
The tsunami was caused by landslides triggered by volcanic activity from the famed Krakatoa volcano, which lies between the two islands, CNN reported.
Although Indonesia has a warning system in place to warn of earthquakes that often spawn tsunamis, in this instance the system was never triggered.
“There was no tsunami warning,” said Rahmat Triyono, earthquake and tsunami chief at Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, according to The New York Times. “There was no earthquake.”
More than 800 people were injured and 28 were recorded as missing, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, chief of public relations at Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
The tsunami wiped out 558 houses and damaged nine hotels and 60 restaurants, he said.
— Global News Network (@GlobalNews77) December 23, 2018
The death toll was most severe along the western shore of Java, where about 200 employees of state electricity utility, Perusahaan Listrik Negara, and family members were celebrating, Reuters reported.
A popular Indonesian rock band, Seventeen, was playing at the party, and lost at least three members.
“Underwater I could only pray ‘Jesus Christ help!’,” Zack, a crew member of the band said in an Instagram post.
“In the final seconds I almost ran out of breath,” he said, noting that he held onto a piece of the stage to survive.
A tsunami believed to be triggered by a volcanic eruption swept away hotels, hundreds of houses and a group of people attending a beach concert. https://t.co/07yfbQyg3o
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 23, 2018
“There is debris littering the ground, crushed cars, crushed motorcycles, we’re seeing buildings that are collapsed,” Red Cross official Kathy Mueller told the BBC.
Eyewitness Asep Perangkat said “cars were dragged about 10 metres, and so were containers.”
In this photo: Anak-Krakatau volcano with increased activity, 2.5 hours prior to the #tsunami waves hitting some areas on the coast of West-Java and Southern-Sumatra. #indonesia #anyer pic.twitter.com/0Xv3lQwAQ3
— Øystein L. Andersen (@OysteinLAnderse) December 23, 2018
The tsunami compounds a tragic year for the island nation. Three months ago, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Palu, killing 2,256 people.
The volcano Krakatoa erupted in 1883. Since that time, the volcanic island of Anak Krakatau has grown from the crater left by the eruption. The volcano has become increasingly active.
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