Jakarta: A tsunami killed at least 62 people and injured 584 on the islands of Sumatra and Java after it struck coastal areas around the Sunda Strait on Saturday night.
Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tsunami was caused by “an undersea landline resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau” and was exacerbated by abnormally high tide because of the current full moon.
Hundreds of homes were “heavily damaged” and “many are missing”.
Endan Permana, head of the disaster mitigation agency in Pandeglang said police were providing assistance to victims in Tanjung Lesung in Banten province, a popular tourist getaway not far from the capital, Jakarta, as emergency workers had not arrived.
“Many are missing,” Permana added.
Footage shows roads blocked by debris from damaged houses and fallen trees. Some 584 people are said to be injured and hundreds of homes and other buildings “heavily damaged.”
“Please do not be around the beaches around the Sunda Strait. Those who have evacuated, please do not return yet,” Rahmat Triyono, head of the meteorological agency, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
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 Dec. 25
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In September, more than 2,500 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which is just east of Borneo. Before that, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people, most of whom died due to collapsing buildings.
The Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sunda Strait that links the Indian Ocean and Java Sea erupted about 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said.