A tsunami in the sea strait of Sunda (an Indonesian tourism hotspot in between the islands of Java and Sumatra) which was triggered by a volcano eruption, has so far killed at least 222 people, with the toll expected to rise.
Updated figures show that at least another 843 people were injured and some 28 people remain missing.
The region, which houses dozens of hotels and restaurants, is very popular with tourists. For the time being however, no foreign tourists would be among the victims. According to a government spokesman, the deadly victims are "Indonesian tourists and local people".
The tsunami reached Java at 9.30pm in the evening with a 19-meter-high wall of water.
The tidal wave raged over popular tourist beaches in the middle of the holiday season. The coastal areas were flooded on both sides of the Sunda strait. Because the flood was just at that moment, the situation was aggravated by the simultaneous flooding.
The most affected area is Pandeglang, in the province of Banten, on Java. That is a tourist region with several popular beaches and the national park Ujung Kulon. Most victims would have fallen in the province. There are believed to be 126 deaths in that area alone.
Government spokesman Sutopo Nugroho says that some 430 homes and nine hotels in the area are badly damaged.
According to Nugroho, there are still no foreign victims for the time being, it mostly concerns Indonesian tourists and local people.
Via Twitter, Indonesian President Joko Widodo says that he has instructed the necessary authorities to provide immediate emergency aid and to find victims. The search is in full swing.
The Red Cross currently has twenty employees on site who are helping where necessary. Oxfam will also send emergency workers quickly. The authorities are calling on residents to stay away from the coastline for fear of a second tsunami.
Eyewitnesses report several waves that flooded the beaches. There was also a loud noise. On images, you can see how streets are flooded and a car is overturned by the water.
One of the videos shows the music band Seventeen that played an open-air concert when the stage is washed away by the tidal wave. The singer is fine but three other band members are still missing.
The tsunami was probably caused by the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano which sits on an island in the strait. This would then have created undersea landslides that pushed up the seawater. Moreover, it was full moon, making the tidal currents even stronger.
The investigation into the cause is still ongoing. The Indonesian office for meteorology, climatology and geophysics (BMKG) investigates the cause. According to the bureau, a volcanic eruption took place at 21.03 hours local time and the tsunami went ashore 24 minutes later.
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