INDONESIA TSUNAMI DEATH TOLL RISES TO 429
As of today, at least 429 people have been killed by the tsunami caused by the eruption of Anak Krakatoa last Saturday, December 22.
Some officials say that the chances of finding more survivors is slim as more than 154 people are still missing.
Torrential rain hampers search efforts as soldiers comb the coast and ambulances rush the 1,485 injured to local hospitals.
Over 882 houses, 73 hotels and villas, and 430 boats were damaged.
Indonesian officials confirmed the cause of the deadly tsunami last Monday. A large chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano slid into the ocean triggering the tsunami.
For months prior to the tsunami, the volcano had been spewing ash and lava. On Saturday, a 64-hectare section of its south-west side collapsed, causing an underwater landslide.
No tsunami warning was issued because of its volcanic, rather than tectonic, nature. Residents in the affected coast reported not feeling or seeing any warning signs before waves of up to 10 feet (three meters) crashed into the coast.
“The lack of a tsunami early warning system caused a lot of victims because people did not have the time to evacuate,” Indonesia National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
With the volcano still active, residents are warned to stay away from the coast as another tsunami is still possible.
“We are cautioning the people to remain cautious,” Nugroho said. “The Krakatau volcano continues to erupt, which could potentially trigger another tsunami.”
Among the victims are members of the Indonesian pop band, Seventeen who was playing at the Tanjung Lesun beach resort when the tsunami swept the stage and threw it into the audience.
Lead singer, Riefian Fajarsyah, revealed in his Instagram that three of his fellow band members and their manager had died.
Dylan, Fajarsyah’s wife, is still missing.
“I am still here. I am not going anywhere. I will pick you up and we can come home together sweet heart,” Fajarsyah said.
With thousands crammed in makeshift evacuation centers, humanitarian workers warn that medicine supplies and clean water is running out.
“A lot of the children are sick with fevers, headaches and they haven’t had enough water,” said Rizal Alimin, a doctor working for NGO Aksi Cepat Tanggap.
“We have less medicine than usual…It’s not healthy here for evacuees. There isn’t enough clean water. They need food and people are sleeping on the floor,” Alimin added.
Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images/The Guardian