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More Than 60 Killed as Tsunami Strikes Java, Sumatra Islands

Created: Sunday, 23 December 2018 05:43
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A tsunami struck beaches along Indonesia's Sunda Straits late Saturday local time, killing at least 62 people and injuring nearly 600, the country's disaster agency said Sunday.

The casualties occurred in three regions -- South Lampung in Sumatra and the Serang and Pandeglang regions of Java, west of the capital Jakarta -- along the Sunda Straits, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNBP), said in a statement.

Hundreds of homes, nine hotels, and 10 boats were damaged, BNBP said Sunday.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported an eruption of Krakatoa about 9 p.m. Saturday local time, and the tsunami struck a short time later, about 9:30 p.m.

The number of casualties is expected to rise because officials have not been able to contact all the areas affected by the tsunami, the statement said. A highway connecting Serang and Pandeglang had also been damaged.

Disaster agency head Endan Permana told local media that many people were missing in tourist locale of Tanjung Lesung, Banten province, near Jakarta, and that police were providing assistance, as emergency workers had not yet arrived in the area, according to Reuters news agency.

“The cause of the tsunami was due to a combination of undersea landslides after the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatoa and the tidal wave caused by the full moon," according to BMKG.

On Sept. 28, a quake and tsunami that hit near the city of Palu, on the island of Sulawesi, killed more than 2,500 and displaced about 70,000.

On Dec. 26, 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami that killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

VOA's Indonesian Service contributed to this report.


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