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Thursday 25th of April 2019 10:09 PM

Indonesia tsunami hits Sunda Strait after Krakatoa eruption, kills 168

Probashbangla24 Desk : At least 168 people have been killed and 745 injured after a tsunami hit the coast on Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, government officials say.
The country’s disaster management agency says hundreds of buildings were damaged by Saturday’s tsunami.

It says the possible cause of the tsunami was undersea landslides after the Krakatoa volcano erupted.

The strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra, connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.
What is the latest?

The disaster management agency warned that the death toll after the tsunami, that struck at about 21:30 local time (14:30GMT) on Saturday, is likely to rise further.

Deaths have been reported in the Pandeglang, Lampung and Serang regions.

The BBC’s Rebecca Henschke in Indonesia said there were reports that the death toll in Lampung province alone could be in the hundreds.

Among the areas hit was the popular Tanjung Lesung beach resort in west Java. There was no warning of the advancing wave.

Footage shared on social media showed a large wave crashing into a tent in the resort, in which a popular Indonesian rock band, Seventeen, was performing. Members of the band were seen being swept away as the wave destroyed the stage.

In an Instagram video, singer Riefian Fajarsyah, said the band’s bassist and road manager had died, and that three other band members and his own wife were missing.

The country’s Red Cross said it was on the scene and searching for victims in the rubble of one collapsed building.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, national spokesman at Indonesia’s disaster agency, tweeted footage of the damage in Lampung.

What might have caused the tsunami?

Emergency officials are investigating whether the tsunami was caused by Anak Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait.

Volcanologist Jess Phoenix told the BBC that when volcanoes erupt, hot magma pushes underground and can displace and break through colder rock. This can trigger a landslide.

But because part of Krakatoa is underwater, she said “instead of just causing a landslide, you get an undersea landslide which pushes water as it moves.” This can then cause a tsunami.

The Anak Krakatoa volcano has seen increased activity in recent months.

Indonesia’s geologic agency said that the volcano erupted for two minutes and 12 seconds on Friday, creating an ash cloud that rose 400 metres (1,300ft) above the mountain.

It recommended that no-one be allowed within two kilometres of the crater.

The disaster management agency said that high seas as a result of the full moon may also have contributed to the strength of the waves.

Is this unusual?

Indonesia is prone to tsunamis because it lies on the Ring of Fire – the line of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

In September, more than 2,000 people died when a powerful earthquake struck just off the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, setting off a tsunami that engulfed the coastal city of Palu.

On 26 December 2004, a series of huge waves triggered by a powerful earthquake in the Indian Ocean killed about 228,000 people in 14 countries, mostly in Indonesia.

However, tsunamis caused by volcanic activity like this are less frequent.

Krakatoa (Krakatau in Indonesian)

In August 1883, it underwent arguably the most violent volcanic eruptions in recorded history:

Massive tsunamis with waves up to 135ft (41m) killed more than 30,000 people

Thousands more were killed by hot ash

The eruptions were equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT – about 13,000 times the nuclear

yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945

The eruptions were heard thousands of kilometres away

World temperatures dropped by more than 1C the following year

The volcanic island virtually disappeared

In 1927, a new island, Anak Krakatoa (Child of Krakatoa) emerged. BBC

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