Sunday 11 April 2021

Indonesia on tsunami alert as death toll mounts to 281

JAKARTA (Indonesia), December 24, 2018

More deadly tsunamis could strike the Indonesian coastline in the coming days, warned authorities as the volcano which triggered the weekend's devastating wave continues to erupt.

At least 281 people have died from the tsunami, which struck the Indonesian coastline without warning Saturday night. Hundreds more are injured and more than two dozen remain missing, reported CNN.

Hundreds of military personnel and volunteers spent Monday scouring debris-strewn beaches in search of survivors as experts warned of more tsunamis following the volcanic eruption that caused the deadly wave in western Java, it stated.

In the wake of Saturday's disaster, Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geological Agency (BMKG) to purchase detectors which would provide "early warnings to community."

Eyewitnesses described fleeing for their lives as beachfront homes were swept away in the wave, which is thought to have been caused by underwater landslides following the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano.

According to local media, the wave reached as high as three meters (10 feet), stated the report.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, warned Sunday that more tsunamis were possible as long as the volcano remained active.

"We are cautioning the people to remain cautious," Sutopo said. "Agencies are still continuing to analyze the root cause ... the Krakatau volcano continues to erupt, which could potentially trigger another tsunami.

The spokesman for Indonesia’s natural disaster agency has said the country must develop a new tsunami early warning system, as the death toll from Saturday’s tragedy rose to more than 280, reported The Guardian.

Nugroho pointed out that Indonesia had no early warning system for landslides or volcanic eruptions.

“The current early warning system is for earthquake activity,” he wrote on Twitter. “Indonesia must build an early warning system for tsunamis that are generated by underwater landslides & volcanic eruptions…[Landslides] triggered the 1992 Maumere tsunami and the Palu 2018 tsunami.”

He also said Indonesia’s tsunami buoy network had “not been operational since 2012”.

Tags: Indonesia | tsunami | Death toll | missing |

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