Over 200 dead, 800 injured as tsunami hits Indonesia following volcanic eruption

Over 200 dead, 800 injured as tsunami hits Indonesia following volcanic eruption

December 23, 2018

Scores were dead and hundreds more injured in Indonesia early Sunday as a tsunami hit the island nation following a volcanic eruption.

The tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured 843 more as the wave came crashing ashore on the eastern side of Java, one of the large islands comprising the country, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of public relations for the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

The number of dead and injured are both likely to rise.

Pandeglang, Serang and South Lampung on the island of Java were the hardest-hit regions, according to authorities. The regions are a few hours west of the capital city of Jakarta with its population of almost 10 million people.

The most-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java, which includes Ujung Kulon National Park and surrounding popular beaches. Of the deaths, 33 were in Pandeglang.

Emergency teams from national agencies were yet to arrive on site and local agencies doing their best to cope with disaster.

There were 430 houses and nine hotels badly damaged in the tsunami as well, Nugroho said.

The tsunami was likely due to underwater slides on the back of the volcanic eruption, Indonesia’s Metereological, Climatological and Geological Agency said. The tsunami struck 24 minutes after Anak Krakatau erupted.

“I want to express my deep sorrow for the victims in Serang, Pandeglang and Banten Provice,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said, translated from Indonesian, according to The Associated Press. “May those who are left be patient.”

Krakatau, a volcano located between the islands of Java and Sumatra, is known for the historic eruption in 1883 that blew the island apart and killed 30,000 people, but it has erupted regularly since.

Anak Krakatau erupted on Oct. 15 most recently.

The Asia Pacific Office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it was already providing first aid to those injured in the disaster.

Indonesia was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami in late September. The disaster hit Sulawesi, an island hundreds of miles northeast of Java. The disaster killed over 2,000 people and displaced 70,000 more.

ABC News’ Maureen Jeyasooriar contributed to this report.

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