Indonesian Officials Take Aerial Tour of Tsunami Swamped Areas

Thursday, 27 Dec, 2018

Heavy rain and blocked roads on Tuesday hampered rescue efforts three days after a tsunami struck Indonesia, as the death toll from the disaster rose to 429 people and some feared disease could spread.

An eruption of the rumbling Anak Krakatoa volcano, which sits in the middle of the Strait separating Java and Sumatra, caused a section of the crater to collapse and slide into the ocean, triggering the tsunami, officials have said.

The latest death toll from the volcano-triggered disaster in Indonesia stands at 429, with 1,485 people injured and another 154 missing.

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"This is an unusual situation because we have a very bad disaster that killed hundreds of our sisters and brothers in Banten", he said, referring to the province on Java island.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who faces what promises to be a tough re-election campaign next year, vowed to have all tsunami-detection equipment replaced or repaired.

Speaking to the BBC's Indonesian service, government spokesperson, Iyan Turyana said a new warning service would account for other tsunami triggers that aren't pinned to natural disaster activity, with the installation of new buoys to begin next year.

"It will be a challenge for us in the future to develop an early tsunami warning system for volcanic activities because we have 127 volcanoes and 13 percent of the world's active volcanoes exist in Indonesia", he said. The giant wall of water killed some 230,000 people in a dozen countries, a lot of them in Indonesia.

"I'm here because people said there could another tsunami", Etin Supriatin told AFP from an evacuation centre in shattered Labuan.

"It's better for us to issue a warning and no tsunami. than no warning at all".

"We nearly could not breathe and I nearly gave up when I groped the key in the water and managed to open the door, and the water began to recede".

Markus Taekz said the Rahmat Pentecostal Church in the hard-hit area of Carita did not celebrate with joyous music.

The meteorology and geophysics agency has banned activities in the coastal areas after the deadly tsunami, as the assessment of volcanic eruption risk was being taken, said Sutopo.

Many died at the Tanjung Lesung Beach Hotel, where the pop band Seventeen was performing to a large audience when the wave smashed through the stage and flooded the venue.

The band members, members of the crew and Fajarsyah's wife, Dylan Sahara, were swept out to sea, but Fajarsyah managed to swim back to shore, according to the Telegraph.

Residents talk to police officers as they search for family members outside a local health center following a tsunami at Panimbang district in Pandeglang, Banten province, Indonesia, December 23, 2018.

"Vandalism, limited budget, technical damage caused no tsunami (alerts) at this time", he said on his official Twitter account. "Since Anak Krakatau has been actively erupting for the past several months additional tsunamis can not be excluded", said Hermann Fritz, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Other scientists have said an underwater landslide may also have contributed to the disaster.

On Wednesday, thousands prayed for loved ones at mass graves and mosques Wednesday to mark the 14th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

In September, more than 2,000 people were killed after a tsunami and quake struck western Sulawesi, with many complaining they were caught unawares.