Christmas Not Merry In Indonesia As Death Toll Climbs Past 429 After Tsunami

| December 26 , 2018 , 13:39 IST

Christmas celebration was replaced by somber prayers for tsunami victims in Indonesia as the western Java and southern Sumatra islands were slammed by waves on Saturday without any warning.

The disaster killed more than 429 people, injured around 1400 and left thousands of people homeless.

The death toll was certain to rise further as people are still missing from the affected areas along the coastlines of islands where many people were celebrating the Christmas holiday weekend.

Hundreds of military personnel and volunteers are conducting their grim search along strewn beaches helped by dogs and heavy machinery.

The emergency response in Pandeglang would last 14 days till January 4, while it would last seven days in Lampung Selatan regency through December 29.


According to media reports, the records showed that 883 houses, 73 hotels and villas, 60 shops and stalls, 434 boats and 41 motor vehicles were damaged in the Sunda Strait tsunami.

Desperately-needed aid flowed into a stretch of Indonesia's tsunami-struck coastline, but humanitarian workers warned that clean water and medicine supplies were dwindling as thousands crammed makeshift evacuation centers.

The tsunami, which hit at 9:27 p.m. Saturday, may have been a result of an undersea landslide near the Anak Krakatau Volcano.

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Anak Krakatau, which means "Child of Krakatau," was erupting again on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke.

The tsunami was Indonesia's third major natural disaster in six months, following a series of powerful earthquakes on the island of Lombok in July and August and a quake-tsunami in September. 

The vast nation is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position over the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.