Indonesia tsunami death toll rises to 43

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Posted at 9:03 PM, Dec 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-22 21:03:23-05

Indonesia's disaster management agency says the death toll from a tsunami apparently caused by undersea landslides from a volcanic eruption has risen to 43 with some 600 injured.

Scientists say the tsunami could have been caused by the eruption of Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island formed over years from the nearby Krakatau volcano. They also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

The areas that were affected were South Lampung in Sumatra and the Serang and Pandeglang regions of Java, west of the capital Jakarta. The Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.

A man who says he and his family survived the tsunami that hit the coast around Indonesia's Sunda Strait says he was taking pictures of a volcano Saturday night when he suddenly saw a big wave come toward him.

"I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters) inland," Øystein Lund Andersen writes on Facebook. "Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully."

Anderson writes that authorities are saying it appears to be a tsunami caused by a volcanic eruption that he was photographing.

"So encountered my first tsunami it seems, hopefully my last," Anderson writes.

In September, at least 832 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which is just east of Borneo.