Tsunami-affected Indonesians remain in shelters for fear of more waves

Residents in Indonesia’s tsunami-affected areas have refused to return to their home and insisted on remaining in shelters fearing that another tsunami could strike in the following days. The death toll from the tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in the Sunda Strait of western Indonesia has climbed to 430 so far, and 1,495 others injured. A total of 159 others remain missing. The tsunami, triggered by an underwater landslide after the eruption of Anak Krakatau volcano Saturday night, also destroyed more than 880 houses, 73 hotels and villas and scores of buildings along the coastlines, and displaced nearly 22,000 people. Banten province’s Tanjung Lesung Beach was deeply affected. Local residents recalled that they had received no warning about the coming tsunami until the ferocious wave hit and submerged their homes that night. “We were frightened. People shouted, ‘There is a wave! There is a wave!’ So we came here without bringing anything,” said Eti Yulianti, an evacuee in Tanjung Lesung. Sanamah, another evacuee said they couldn’t sleep at home because they were too afraid. “We heard warnings. We didn’t know if it’s truth or rumor, but we got out,” she said. A holiday camp on the beach is considered by many to be ground zero and it was here that the tsunami came ashore with its greatest force. At this place, the pop group “Seventeen” was engulfed by a giant wave as they played a concert. More than 100 Indonesian vacationers were killed and the devastation in this area was particularly severe. At the moment, heavy rainfall is making life difficult for rescue workers and also increasing the possibility of a second landslide at the volcano. The Indonesian authorities have announced a 14-day period of emergency response in Banten’s most affected area of Pandeglang and a 7-day period in southern Lampung province.

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