Volcano-triggered tsunami toll climbs to 222 in Indonesia

• A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday.

• Hundreds of homes and other buildings were “heavily damaged” when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along with the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency, said.

• Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground.

• By 10.40 a.m. GMT, the disaster agency had raised the death toll to 222 from 168, with 843 injured and 28 missing.

Past attacks

• The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Evacuation warning

• 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 until Dec. 25.

• “Those who have evacuated, please do not return yet,” said Rahmat Triyono, an official at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

• President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election in April, said on Twitter that he had “ordered all relevant government agencies to immediately take emergency response steps, find victims and care for the injured”.

• Vice President Jusuf Kalla told a news conference the death toll would “likely increase”.

• Saturday’s tsunami was the latest in a series of tragedies that have struck Indonesia, a vast archipelago, this year.

• Successive earthquakes flattened parts of the tourist island of Lombok, and a double quake-and-tsunami killed thousands on Sulawesi island. Nearly 200 people died when a Lion Air passenger plane crashed into the Java Sea in October.

• Rescue workers and ambulances were finding it difficult to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris from damaged houses, overturned cars and fallen trees.

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Mains Paper 1: Geography

Prelims level: Volcano-triggered tsunami

Mains level: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc

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