Thousands of soldiers and policemen struggle due to tsunami that had swept houses, beach huts, trees and cars and buried them in the mud. The death toll rose to at least 429. More than 100 people are still missing. In the end, the victim record could rise to around 600.
The longer the rescue work and the search for more victims, the harder it will be to identify the bodies recovered from the water. “It’s awful,” says a woman. “We found a dead child on the beach and we took it to the hospital.” Thousands of people became homeless. Many are stunned by the ruins of their houses.
“The wave came from the south and they all ran, but were knocked down by the flood,” says one man. “My brother survived by getting himself under a car, but I have not found my wife yet.
The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders support the Indonesian doctors in caring for the more than 1500 injured. Many have bad head wounds and severe fractures. The local clinics are overloaded. “After the acute care we have flown out many injured,” says an officer.
In the midst of the rubble women and men have built temporary stalls. They offer fish and fruit on wood planks and plastic sheets. Life goes on. But back to normal, too much would be said. “We sell the remnants of what we had,” says a dealer.
Most people in the popular tourist regions were completely taken aback by the tsunami triggered by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano in the Sundast Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java. The tsunami warning system had not responded as it recorded only seaquake.
The Anak Krakatau has been breaking out for months. During the eruption on Saturday night, part of the crater collapsed. It came to a huge landslide into the sea only 24 minutes later, the tidal wave reached the beaches of the two islands.
The volcano remains active even after the tsunami. White ash clouds rise in the sky. Debris, liquid rock and lava plunge into the sea. Another flank of the volcano threatens to slip, which could lead to a renewed tsunami. The residents were therefore asked to avoid the coastal regions. Around 12,000 people were brought to safety in higher regions.
Experts also believe that one day the volcano may collapse completely in an eruption of a similar gigantic extent in 1883, the entire island of Krakatau exploded and sunk into the sea.
Indonesia lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire tectonically most active world region. The Indian plate slides there under the Eurasian, which leads to huge tensions in the Earth’s interior. In addition, there are 127 active volcanoes in the state with almost 18,000 islands.
This year alone, Indonesia experienced several catastrophes: among others, the earthquakes on the island of Lombok in the summer and the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Sulawesi with thousands of dead. In Past, 14 years ago also on Christmas, a devastating tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in Indonesia alone. As a consequence, the tsunami early warning system was installed at that time.