On 22 December 2018 at 21:27 local time, a tsunami hit south-west Indonesia affecting the coast lines along Sunda Strait. Widespread disaster and damage was caused to the immediate coastal areas of the islands of Java and Sumatra, which are separated by the Sunda Strait. The provinces of Banten and Lampung were the most affected, with the Pandeglang District taking the brunt of the tsunami’s force.
As of 28 December 2018 there have been 426 casualties recorded, with a further 7202 injured and over 40,000 displaced from their homes. 23 people are missing.
Indonesia has been struck by three significant disasters in the space of the last six months.
- Lombok Earthquakes on 5, 9, and 19 July, and 18 August
- Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami on 28 September
- Sunda Straits Tsunami on 22 December
Information gathered from previous disasters shows that the most important areas of the required emergency response are shelter, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), and disaster risk reduction. Humanitarian assistance operations like those of the Red Cross will focus on delivering essential supplies and performing first aid, as well as doing search and rescue, body recovery, and tracing missing persons to reunite families.
Assistance is ongoing in the region as organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (ADMA) continue to provide much needed relief to those affected by the tsunami.
The Anak Krakatau volcano continues to show signs of disturbance, and a further 20,000 people have been evacuated from the coastal areas as a precaution. Residents are being warned to stay a minimum of 1 kilometre away from the coastlines. The volcano has been issuing small eruptions since July 2018.
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Photo via Wikicommons