Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Indonesia asks people to avoid coast near erupting volcano

Band members, fans killed when tsunami hits rock concert Death toll from Indonesia tsunami reaches 429 with 154 missing
Patty Aguilar | 26 December, 2018, 20:15

Clouds of ash spewed from Anak Krakatau, nearly obscuring the volcanic island where a crater collapse at high tide over the weekend sent waves up to 5m high smashing into the coast on the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands.

Anak Krakatoa is an island that emerged in the crater left by Krakatoa, whose massive 1883 eruption killed at least 36,000 people.

The death toll from a tsunami that struck parts of Java and Sumatra over the weekend has reached 429, with 154 others still missing, Indonesia's disaster management agency said Tuesday, as search area expands to outlying areas cut off by the disaster.

Indonesian search and rescue teams today plucked stranded residents from remote islands and pushed into isolated communities still desperate for aid in the aftermath of a volcano-triggered tsunami that killed more than 400.

Rosemary North is in the Banten province of western Java, she's one of many Red Cross workers providing clean water and food to survivors.

The moment the Indonesian tsunami ripped through the stage during a band's performance.

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.

"On Wednesday morning until late in the afternoon, medium to heavy rainfall is predicted", she said.

The wave, which the local media described as 3 meters (10 feet) high, sent residents running for safety as beachfront homes were swept away.

"Water is coming! Water is coming!" people screamed as they ran to higher ground while reciting verses from the Koran and emergency messages blared over mosque speakers.

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The airport said that while it would be closed, some airspace would be reopened to allow four flights an hour to arrive . A blanket of volcanic ash also covered nearby villages, which ground planes to a halt at Catania airport temporarily.

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"There was no sign of a tsunami when we were at the beach".

When she spotted high, fast-moving waves launching toward the shore, she ran to her auto and managed to get inside.

The timing of the disaster over the Christmas season evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an quake on December 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia. But she could not outrun it. That temblor and tsunami killed an estimated 2,100 people.

"We were locked inside. The vehicle was swaying in the waves and we thought we would all die", Hayati said.

"We nearly could not breathe and I nearly gave up when I groped the key in the water and managed to open the door, and the water began to recede".

"It's going to take some time before we get a fully clear picture of what the full extent of the damage is", Mueller predicted.

As long as the volcano remains active, residents should be vigilant, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency.

Meanwhile, the Anak Krakatau volcano, whose eruption and partial collapse is thought to have caused a landslide that unleashed the tsunami, is still erupting, billowing white smoke and clouds of ash hundreds of yards into the air.

It was one of the deadliest disasters in history, killing some 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including some 168,000 Indonesians, most in Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra.

This year, the country has suffered its worst annual death toll from disasters in more than a decade. Saturday's event, coupled with an natural disaster and tsunami in September on Sulawesi that killed at least 2,100 people, triggered flashbacks for some who survived the 2004 tragedy.

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