Journalism of Courage

Deadly tsunami sweeps Indonesia coast

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia on Thursday widened the no-go zone around an island volcano that triggered a tsunami last weekend, killing at least 430 people in Sumatra and Java.

The volcanology agency raised the Anak Krakatau volcano’s alert status to the second highest and more than doubled the exclusion zone to a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius.

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The eruption on Saturday evening caused part of the island in the Sunda Strait to collapse into the sea, apparently generating tsunami waves of more than 2 meters (61/2 feet). The government has warned Sunda Strait communities to stay a kilometer (less than a mile) away from the coastline because of the risk of another tsunami.

The disaster struck without warning, taking people by surprise in a country that regularly suffers landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. No earthquake shook the ground beforehand, and the waves surged inland at night on a holiday weekend while people were enjoying concerts and other beach and resort activities.

Heavy rains and high seas have hampered the search and effort. Some bodies were found at sea and at least 159 are missing.

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