Tsunami wave sweeps Indonesian pop band off stage during show

Geraldine Edwards
December 25, 2018

In either case, large volumes of water would have been displaced, resulting in a tsunami.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia Disaster Mitigation Agency, acknowledged on Twitter that the country's network of detection buoys had been out of order since 2012 because of vandalism and budget shortfalls.

Authorities warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches and a high-tide warning remained in place through till December 25.

Anak Krakatau had been spewing ash and lava for months before a 64-hectare section of its south-west side collapsed, said Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of the meteorological agency.

Video shot from a charter plane captured the magnitude of the volcanic event in the Sunda Strait, between Sumatra and Java.

Rescue workers and ambulances were finding it hard to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris, said Ketut Sukerta, head of the disaster agency in South Lampung.

By late afternoon on Sunday, the disaster agency had raised the death toll to 222, with 843 injured and 28 missing. It erupted about 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said.

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Anak Krakatau emerged from the site of an 1883 eruption that killed tens of thousands of people, and has drawn tourists from around the world.

No tsunami alerts was raised, and there was no big temblor to even get the warning system in motion.

"So people are concerned whether the volcanic activity of Anak Krakatauwill still continue and create more underground, underwater landslides and create another disaster", said Margarettha Siregar, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Director at the Christian charity organization Wahana Visi Indonesia.

That may surprise many, however, since Indonesia is home to 13 percent of the world's volcanoes.

Unlike previous incidents of a tsunami where there was some form of warning, Sunday's disaster struck with absolutely no prior warning.

Why was Saturday's tsunami so deadly?

"The fact that there was no major quake means that whatever caused the tsunami near Krakatau put most of its energy into the water rather than into the ground". The band Seventeen was performing on Java's Tanjung Lesung Beach when the tsunami crashed down.

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How did the tsunami happen?

Experts have said that Saturday's rare volcano-sparked tsunami could have been caused by an underwater collapse of part of the volcano. "This would have sent millions of tonnes of rocky debris into the sea, pushing out waves in all directions".

A man walks past a vehicle damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia.

That is despite the fact that the vast Indonesian archipelago lies on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Doctors worked to save injured victims while hundreds of military and volunteers scoured debris-strewn beaches in search of survivors Monday after a deadly tsunami gushed ashore without warning on Indonesian islands, killing more than 280 people on a busy holiday weekend. And the tsunami and natural disaster that hit Sulawesi in September killed more than 2,100 people, and thousands more are believed buried in neighborhoods swallowed by a quake phenomenon known as liquefaction.

However, tsunamis caused by volcanic activity like this are less frequent.

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