Indonesia widens exclusion zone around island volcano

Indonesia widens exclusion zone around island volcano

Indonesia widens exclusion zone around island volcano

Indonesia's disaster management agency (BNPB) on Thursday upgraded its alert level for the volcano to its second-highest level, warning in a statement that volcanic activity on the island volcano "continues to increase".

At least 430 people are dead and more 150 still missing following Saturday night's tsunami which was triggered after a large chunk of the volcano collapsed into the sea.

The latest death toll stood at 429, with 1,485 people injured and another 154 still missing.

The new flows posed no immediate danger to nearby towns as the volcano sits in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands.

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"For many years since that 2004 disaster, we have trained local partner organisations in efficient and effective disaster response, and that investment has been critical in quickly getting the right help where it's needed most", Suryani said.

Saturday's disaster struck without warning, surprising people in a country that regularly suffers landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Authorities warned residents to stay away from the shoreline by as much as a kilometer due to the risk of high waves and extreme weather on Wednesday.

As the threat of more deadly tsunamis casts a pall over Indonesia, the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency said Tuesday that more than 16,000 people are displaced.

"The weather and continuing eruptions could potentially cause landslides at the cliffs of the crater into the sea, and we fear that that could trigger a tsunami", she had said.

On Tuesday, Prayoga, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name, was seen walking at the seashore of Anyer Beach in Serang Regency, searching for bodies.

On Dec. 26, 2004, about 130,000 people died in the nation's westernmost province of Aceh when a magnitude 9.1 natural disaster struck off the west coast of Sumatra, spawning a series of devastating tsunamis. Almost 20,000 people have been displaced by the tsunami and almost 1,500 injured, according to Reuters. "All we can do from here is to pray for them", she said.

The latest tsunami, coming during the Christmas season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an quake on December 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Thick ash clouds continued to spew from the mountain, and authorities and experts have warned of further high waves and advised residents to stay away from the shoreline.

It was one of the deadliest disasters in history, killing some 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including some 168,000 Indonesians, most in Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra.

Anak Krakatau, which means child of Krakatoa, is the offspring of the infamous Krakatoa volcano that affected the global climate with a massive eruption in 1883.

A sunken vessel is pictured after a tsunami hit Anyer in Banten province, Indonesia.

Torrential rains have sparked flooding in some areas, hampering the relief effort and heaping more misery on the stricken region, as thousands cram emergency shelters.

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