A tsunami believed to be triggered by a volcanic eruption killed more than 160 people in Indonesia during a busy holiday weekend, sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and a group of people attending a beach concert.
More than 700 people were reported injured after the tsunami hit around the Sunda Strait at 9:27 p.m. Saturday, the Disaster Management Agency. At least 30 others were missing, but the toll could continue to rise because some areas had not yet been reached.
Scientists, including those from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency, said Sunday that the tsunami could have been caused by undersea landslides or those occurring above sea level on the Anak Krakatau volcano’s steep outside slope following the eruption. The volcano’s name translates to “Child of Krakatoa,” a volcanic island formed over years after one of the largest eruptions in recorded history occurred at the Krakatoa volcano more than a century ago. The scientists also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.
Dramatic footage posted on social media showed an Indonesian pop band named “Seventeen” performing under a tent on a beach as dozens of people sat listening at tables covered in white cloths. As bright strobe lights flashed on stage, a child could be seen wandering through the crowd. Then, in between songs with the drummer pounding, the stage suddenly heaved forward, throwing the band and all their equipment into the audience.
The Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.
The BBC reports that footage posted by the head of the disaster management agency showed the aftermath of the tsunami, with flooded streets and an overturned car.
Dozens of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm local time (1430 GMT) on Saturday, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.
Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, reported by Channel News Asia.
Anak Krakatoa is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa’s deadly 1883 eruption.
Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the archipelago.
Photographer Oystein Lund Andersen said he captured an image photo of the volcano erupting, just before the huge waves hit the beach he was at.
“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m inland. Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of my the locals,” he said on Facebook.
In September, at least 832 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.
Source: AP & CNA