Over 20,000 displaced by Indonesia tsunami

JAKARTA: Rescue teams have been striving to reach isolated tsunami-hit areas in Indonesia, where more victims are believed to remain under the rubble, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the number of those displaced by the volcano-triggered tsunami rose sharply to over 20,000 after a warning of possible further giant waves, officials of the disaster agency said here on Wednesday.

The catastrophe has forced a total of 21,921 people living along the coastal areas to flee home, compared with a total of 16,082 people on Tuesday, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics and Volcanology Agency on Wednesday morning warned that residents should avoid any activities in the radius of 500m to 1,000m from coastline amid the possibility of a second tsunami, Sutopo said.

“The hike number of the displaced person resulted from the additions of the number of evacuees in several new evacuation centres,“ he told a press conference.

The tsunami hit at 9.27pm Jakarta time (1427 GMT, 10.27pm Malaysia) on Saturday, after the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano sparked underwater landslides, leading to the rise of the sea level.

It struck the district of Pandeglang and Serang of Banten province and Lampung Selatan district of Lampung province, killing over 400 people and injuring at least 1,400 others so far.

The tsunami devastated a 312.75-km-long coastal area, including the province of Banten and Lampung, with most of the victims being retrieved from tourists resorts in Pandeglang district of Banten province, said Sutopo.

Sutopo said not all the rattled areas have been reached by rescuers so far, taking Sumur sub-district of Pandeglang district as an example.

“The rescue team is attempting hard to enter six villages in Sumur. Helicopters have been deployed in the mission with a focus of the mission — an evacuation, search and rescue for the victims,“ he said. — Bernama

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