Indonesia witnessed the second largest ever tsunami this year end. The first one was that struck the island of Sulawesi on 28 September earlier this year was accompanied by a powerful earthquake that gave residents a brief warning before the waves struck. In the night of December 22, The tsunami struck Sunda Strait coastal areas along western Java and southern Sumatra islands without warning in the darkness of Saturday.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the latest tolls Monday, 24 December, morning were 281 dead and 1,016 injured. The tally of missing is 57 but the numbers are expected to rise. The worst-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Java’s Banten province, which encompasses Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches.
As the tsunami took place in the weekend, many people were holidaying along the coast, which trapped hundreds of people under its regime. The waves that swept terrified people into the sea followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands. Doctors and the officials are continuously working for extracting people from the debris from the huge destruction that the tsunami has caused. The Indonesian Medical Association of Banten region said it has sent doctors and medical supplies and equipment and that many of the injured were in need of orthopedic and neurosurgery surgery. It said most patients are domestic tourists who were visiting the beach during the long weekend ahead of Christmas. The worst-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Java’s Banten province, which encompasses Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the agency said. Many of the affected areas where the tourist destinations and there were many foreign tourists who had visited that area for a long weekend. According to sources, the tsunami was not that huge, but the power of it was massive which caused a lot of destruction. Though the inner part of the country was not affected, the buildings, houses, hotels,etc. were all crushed to debris.
Dramatic video posted on social media showed the Indonesian pop band ‘Seventeen’ performing under a tent on Tanjung Lesung beach at a concert for the employees of a state-owned electricity company. Dozens of people sat at tables while others swayed to the music near the stage as strobe lights flashed and theatrical smoke was released. A child could also be seen wandering through the crowd. Seconds later, with the drummer pounding just as the next song was about to begin, the stage suddenly heaved forward and buckled under the force of the water, tossing the band and its equipment into the audience. The group released a statement saying their bass player, guitarist and road manager were killed, while two other band members and the wife of one of the performers were missing.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo arrived by helicopter in the disaster area on Monday. A day earlier, he expressed his sympathy and ordered government agencies to respond quickly to the disaster.