At least 168 people die in Indonesia tsunami
Updated : Monday, December 24, 2018 5:19 PM (GMT+0700)

A tsunami following avolcanic eruption in Indonesia claimed at least 168 lives, said localauthorities on December 23.

Rescuers move victim's body in Carita, Banten province of Indonesia - Photo: AFP/VNA

Representative of the Indonesian national disaster mitigationagency said 745 people were wounded and 30 others remain missing.

Dozens of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hitbeaches in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm local timeon December 22, following a volcano eruption.

The same day, authorities warned residents and tourists incoastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tidewarning remained in place through till December 25.

Head of Indonesian meteorological agency Rahmat Triyono urgedthose who have evacuated to not return yet.

Meanwhile, authorised agencies are gathering information onthe disaster, adding that the number of casualties is likely to riseconsidering not all places have been checked.

Initial estimates showed that about 430 houses were destroyedand nine hotels were heavily damaged.

The disaster caused severe impacts to areas surrounding SundaStrait, including beaches in Pangegland, Serang and South Lampung. 

Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by anabnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide followingthe eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Straitbetween Java and Sumatra.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth,straddles the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire', where tectonic plates collideand a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run thelength of the archipelago.

In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 underseaearthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 peoplein countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

In September this year, in the city of Palu on Sulawesiisland, a quake and tsunami killed more than 2,000 of people, while 5,000people went missing and 9,000 had to leave their home.

Source: VNA

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