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Dozens killed, hundreds missing after volcano-induced tsunami in Indonesia

Death toll expected to rise

AT least 168 people have been killed and 745 injured after a tsunami hit the coast on Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, according to the BBC.

The China Global Television Network (CGTN) are reporting a far lesser number: 62 dead, 584  injured, and 20 missing.

Both reports quoted a spokesperson for the disaster mitigation agency in Indonesia, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, as saying that the number is expected to rise “considering not all places have been checked.”

A BBC correspondent in Indonesia said there were reports that the death toll in Lampung province alone could be in the hundreds.

Authorities said the tsunami, which took place at 9:27 p.m. local time on Saturday, may have been triggered by “an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau”.

Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa’s deadly 1883 eruption. The volcano has reportedly increased activity in the last six months.

Pandeglang district of Banten province suffered the most from the tsunami, and other two districts of Serang in the province and Lampung Selatan in Lampung province were also impacted by it.

Some residents in the Pandeglang region ran to a local mosque after the tsunami hit. Photo from BBC.

In the worst-hit area, huge waves rattled residential areas and several tourist destinations along the coastal areas, such as Pantai Tanjung Lesung, Sumur, Penimbang, Teluk Lada dan Carita.

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

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, the BBC reports.

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.

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