WORLD


Indonesia tsunami: Death toll hits 168, hundreds more injured

Baku, December 23, AZERTAC

Indonesia's disaster agency said 168 people were dead and another 745 injured after a tsunami struck coastal areas around the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java on Saturday night, according to Channel News Asia.

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm (1430 GMT) following the eruption of a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 168 confirmed dead, 745 people injured and 30 reported missing across three regions, he said.

Earlier reports said at least 20 people were killed and 165 injured, with the death toll expected to rise.

Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatau, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

Indonesian authorities initially claimed the wave was not a tsunami, but instead a tidal surge and urged the public not to panic.

Heavy equipment was being transported to badly-hit areas to help search for victims, Nugroho said, adding evacuation posts and public kitchens were being set up for evacuees.

Meanwhile, people injured have been rushed to health facilities to receive treatment.

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