Indonesia Tsunami

A tsunami hit the Sunda Strait in Indonesia in December, leaving over at least 281
people dead and injuring over 1,400 people. Officials put the number of people still missing at 57. Hundreds of homes were heavily damaged as the wall of water swept away anything in its path. Hotels and boats also sustained severe damage.

It was the second deadly tsunami in Indonesia this year, and a devastating end to what was a horrific year for disasters in the country, with earthquakes, floods, fires and an airline crash that together have killed more than 4,500 people, the most in more than a decade.

Officials said they think that the tsunami was caused by an undersea landslide that was set off by volcanic activity on the island of Anak Krakatau. There was no seismic activity in the area, which might have prompted a tsunami evacuation alert and saved lives, the officials said.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, sits in an active volcanic and seismic area known as the Ring of Fire. The Sunda Strait lies between Java, the country’s most-populous island, and Sumatra, the second-most populous.

The island of Anak Krakatau, or the Child of Krakatau, emerged nearly a century ago from the volcanic crater of Krakatau, which erupted in 1883 in one of the largest such events in recorded history.

The biggest disaster to strike Indonesia in modern times was the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that hit a dozen countries on Dec. 26 in 2004. In Indonesia, it obliterated much of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra, and killed about 225,000 people.

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