At least 222 dead, over 800 injured as tsunami hits two Indonesian islands

PANDEGLANG, Indonesia – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds more on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following a volcanic eruption, officials and media said on Sunday.

The tsunami injured 843 more as the wave came crashing ashore late Saturday on the eastern side of Java, one of the large islands comprising the country, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of public relations for the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

The number of dead and injured are both likely to rise.

Hundreds of homes and other buildings were “heavily damaged” after struck by the tsunami following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano.

Pandeglang, Serang and South Lampung on the island of Java were the hardest-hit regions, according to authorities. The regions are a few hours west of the capital city of Jakarta with its population of almost 10 million people.

Emergency teams from national agencies were yet to arrive on site and local agencies doing their best to cope with disaster.

Krakatau, a volcano located between the islands of Java and Sumatra, is known for the historic eruption in 1883 that blew the island apart and killed 30,000 people, but it has erupted regularly since.

The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.