MANY DEAD: Tsunami
The death toll from a tsunami that followed a series of volcanic eruptions on Indonesia’s Sunda Strait now stands at 430, with 159 people still missing, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said on Wednesday.

Agency spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, also said 1 495 people had been injured and 21 991 displaced by the disaster, which was preceded by eruptions from the Mount Anak Krakatau volcano.

Rescuers are still searching remote areas in the Sumur district on the westernmost tip of Java, with heavy machinery deployed to open access to the area after it was cut off by damaged roads and broken bridges.

The worst-affected areas were three tourism spots in Pandeglang district - Tanjung Lesung, Carita and Panimbang, which was the worst hit in the tsunami.

Indonesia’s climate and geophysics agency has advised people to stay away from coastal areas on both sides of the strait.

The tsunami came without warning as Indonesia lacks the system to detect tsunamis triggered by undersea landslides and volcanic eruptions.

Scientists have concluded that the tsunami was triggered by an undersea landslide.

The agency has now developed an application that can monitor the volcano’s seismic activity, so warnings can be issued sooner in future.

The tsunami struck coastal areas in Banten province on the western tip of Java and Lampung province on the southern tip of Sumatra.

It happened just four days ahead of the 14th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 200 000 people in Aceh province on 26 December 2004.

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