Indonesia searches for tsunami victims as death toll hits 373


More than 1,000 people were injured and the death toll "will continue to rise", said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.

Dozens of filled body bags were hauled away from buildings flattened by Indonesia's volcano-triggered tsunami Monday, as search teams pushed on with the grim hunt for corpses - and victims who may still be trapped alive under the rubble.

According to a conglomeration of agencies, the disaster was the product of multiple triggers: a volcanic eruption causing a 64-hectare (158-acre) chunk of Anak Krakatau to slide off the island volcano and into the ocean during a full moon at high tide.

Helped with dogs and heavy machinery, troops were combing through every pile of iron and wood that were once homes and market stalls of local residents before they were struck by waves 2 to 3 meters high.

Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. Indonesia's disaster agency initially said there was "no tsunami threat" even as the wave crashed ashore.

A magnitude-9.1 natural disaster struck Indonesia on December 26, 2004, spawning a giant tsunami off Sumatra island and killing over 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

'Likelihood of further tsunamis in the Sunda Strait remains high' Another tsunami could strike Indonesia, experts warned.

The Indonesian Medical Association of the worst-affected Banten region said that it sent doctors, medical supplies and equipment, and that numerous injured were in need of orthopaedic and neurological surgery.

Police officers rescued a 5-year-old boy on Sunday who had been trapped for almost 12 hours in a vehicle buried under fallen trees and rubble, according to a video posted by the police on Twitter.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said a tsunami caused by a partial collapse of a volcano was a rare event globally and was hard to predict, but it nevertheless recommended a system of tidal stations, buoys and/or "visual monitoring with remote sensing" in the waters surrounding Anak Krakatau, Bloomberg News reported.

The toll from the tsunami that struck around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on December 22 rose to 373 on Monday, AFP quoted the country's disaster agency as saying. The operation is being hindered by blocked roads and rainfall.

Video posted on social media showed the Indonesian pop band Seventeen performing in a tent on Tanjung Lesung beach at a concert for employees of the state-owned electricity company when a wave smashed through the stage.

- 2018: Major quakes hit Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok, killing more than 500 people, mostly on the northern side of the island.

"Since Anak Krakatau has been actively erupting for the past several months additional tsunamis can not be excluded", said Hermann Fritz, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The volcano's name means "Child of Krakatau", the island rising from the sea only in 1927, after one of the largest, most devastating eruptions in recorded history occurred at the original Krakatau volcano in 1883.