The authorities of Indonesia today raised the alert for eruption in the Anak Krakatau volcano, which five days ago caused a tsunami that caused more than 400 deaths, and recommended avoiding coastal areas in anticipation of another tsunami.
The spokesman of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, indicated that the alert has gone from level 2 to 3 on a scale of 4 and that the exclusion radius around the volcano has been extended from 2 to 5 kilometers
“People and tourists are prohibited from carrying out any activity within a radius of 5 kilometers from the crater on top of Mount Anak Krakatau,” the spokesman said in a statement.
Sutopo added that the meteorological agency BMKG recommended avoiding activities between 500 meters and one kilometer from the coast in the Sonda Strait, which separates the islands of Java and Sumatra and where the volcano is located, given the possibility that another tsunami.
The Anak Krakatau, which entered the current phase of activity last July, continues to record strombolian-type “uninterrupted” eruptions, with the discharge of lava and the emission of incandescent rocks and columns of smoke that cover several areas of the seabed with ash. of the strait, added the spokesman.
According to the BNPB spokesman, the volcano registered a small-scale eruption on December 22, but satellite images show that it caused the collapse of its southwestern slope, which, when it fell into the sea, caused the tsunami that hit the west coast of Java. and from South Sumatra. We recommend: Why were there so many natural disasters in Indonesia this year?
The country’s aviation authorities diverted all air traffic due to the plume of smoke that moves to the southwest, although they do not foresee that any airport will be affected, including that of Jakarta, located about 135 kilometers east of the volcano. “All flights are redirected due to the red alert for the ash from the Krakatau volcano,” the AirNav news agency said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the rescue teams are working against the clock but with little hope of finding any survivors of the disaster that, according to the latest official assessment, caused 430 deaths and 1,495 injuries, and in which 159 more people are still missing.
The tsunami also forced about 22,000 people to flee to evacuation centers, in large part because authorities have ordered the complete evacuation of small islands from the strait.
To these are added 1,818 residents of two villages in the northwest of the Regency of Banten, the part of Java affected by the tsunami, which have had to be evacuated due to the flooding that the same area suffers. Read also: This is how the “ghost tsunami” occurred in Indonesia
Sutopo attributed the avenue of water to the overflowing of the Cikalumpang River, caused by the intense rains that fall in the area and that make it difficult to rescue and assist those affected by the tsunami. Indonesia sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken every year by some 7,000 tremors, most of them moderate.