Indonesia hikes danger level for deadly tsunami volcano

Minnie Murray
December 27, 2018

According to a conglomeration of agencies, the disaster was the product of multiple triggers: a volcanic eruption causing a 64-hectare (158-acre) chunk of Anak Krakatau to slide off the island volcano and into the ocean during a full moon at high tide.

In a statement, Indonesia's air-traffic control agency AirNav said on Thursday: "All flights are rerouted due to Krakatau volcano ash on red alert".

Authorities raised the crater's status to high alert, the second-highest danger warning, while aviation officials ordered flights to be redirected away from the area.

Bodies are still being found almost three full days after the tsunami struck without warning on Saturday evening, and the search area is still being expanded to more remote areas only now found to have been hit by the killer wave.

With Anak Krakatoa still rumbling amid high-tide warnings, many survivors who have been evacuated to higher ground are too afraid to return home, saying they are anxious that another tsunami will strike. Emergency crews expect to find more bodies as they press into remote villages clobbered by the tsunami, officials said.

As the threat of more deadly tsunamis casts a pall over Indonesia, the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency said Tuesday that more than 16,000 people are displaced.

"On Wednesday morning until late in the afternoon, medium to heavy rainfall is predicted", she said.

The Anak Krakatau volcano, located in a straight between the islands Sumatra and Java, began erupting a day before the tsunami struck.

The death toll reached 433 on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported that another 1,495 people have been listed as injured, and 159 are still missing.

The disaster striking during the Christmas season evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an quake on December 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Thousands of people are staying in tents and temporary shelters like mosques or schools, with dozens sleeping on the floor or in crowded public facilities.

Ms North said the wave caused plenty of destruction in Java, with several houses completely destroyed.

Doctors Without Borders also expects the number of injured to go up, as more victims were expected to arrive at hospitals over the coming days.

The Indonesian government has warned of further tsunami, cautioning nearby communities to stay at least 1 kilometer away from the coastline. Nugroho added: "Agencies are still continuing to analyse the root cause. the Krakatau volcano continues to erupt, which could potentially trigger another tsunami".

GlobalGiving, which funnels donations to local organizations, has many options for helping in Indonesia, whether specifically for tsunami and natural disaster recovery, or for other worthy causes like orangutan rescue or saving slow lorises or saving street kids from a life of poverty.

"Indonesians have withstood a string of disasters this year and with them, so much loss and misery".

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is the world's most populous Muslim nation but its 17,000 islands are also home to smaller but still significant numbers of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

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