Jakarta: The death toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 281, with more than 1,000 people injured, the national disaster agency reported on Monday. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, agency’s spokesperson said,”The number of victims and damage will continue to rise.”
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) on Saturday after a volcano known as the “child” of Krakatoa erupted.
Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into a concert by pop group “Seventeen” — hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience.
The European Union on Sunday offered its condolences and promised aid to the disaster hit nation. In a letter addressed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said that they were ready to assist in rescue efforts.
“I was heartbroken to learn that tragedy has once again struck Indonesian shores,” Juncker said before sending his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishing “all the strength and courage to the emergency service currently at work” in the affected area between the islands of Sumatra and Java.
The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, also sent his prayers to the tsunami’s victims via Twitter, adding that the EU stood ready to assist the Indonesian authorities.
In addition, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christs Stylianides, said the bloc “stands in solidarity with those in need and is ready to help.”
Notably, Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide. Most recently in the city of Palu on Sulawesi island a quake and tsunami in September killed thousands of people.
On December 26, 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.
(With inputs from agencies)