At least 43 people have been killed and nearly 600 injured in a tsunami in Indonesia that may have been caused by a volcano known as the “child” of the legendary Krakatoa, officials said Sunday.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches without warning in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm local time (1430 GMT) on Saturday, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.
At least 43 people died and 584 people were injured across three regions.
Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
Penyebab tsunami di di Pandeglang dan Lampung Selatan adalah kemungkinan kombinasi dari longsor bawah laut akibat pengaruh erupsi Gunung Anak Krakatau dan gelombang pasang saat purnama. BMKG masih meneliti lebih jauh untuk memastikan penyebab tsunami. pic.twitter.com/gbJ9eTND6u
— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) December 22, 2018
“The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast,” Nugroho said, but added that Indonesia’s geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.
He added that the death toll would likely increase.
Indonesian authorities initially claimed the wave was not a tsunami, but instead a tidal surge and urged the public not to panic.
Nugroho later apologised for the mistake on Twitter, saying because there was no earthquake it had been difficult to ascertain the cause of the incident early on.