‘Extreme weather’ warning for tsunami-hit Indonesia

‘Extreme weather’ warning for tsunami-hit Indonesia

‘Extreme weather’ warning for tsunami-hit Indonesia

A family eat after disembarking from a ferry at the port after being evacuated from Sebesi Island, in Bakauheni in Lampung province on Dec. 26, after the Dec. 22 tsunami - caused by activity at a volcano known as the "child" of Krakatoa - hit the west coast of Indonesia's Java island.

Indonesian authorities warned yesterday of “extreme weather and high waves” around the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, urging people to stay away from the coast already devastated by a tsunami that killed more than 429 people. 

Clouds of ash spewed from Anak Krakatau, almost obscuring the volcanic island where a crater collapse at high tide on Saturday sent waves up to 5 meters-high smashing into the coast on the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands.

Indonesia’s meteorology agency said late on Dec. 25 the rough weather around the volcano could make its crater more fragile.

“We have developed a monitoring system focused specifically on the volcanic tremors at Anak Krakatau so that we can issue early warnings,” said agency, adding that a two-kilometer exclusion zone had been imposed.

At least 154 people are missing, more than 1,400 people were injured and thousands of people have moved to higher ground.

Rescuers were trying yesterday to reach several villages still inaccessible by road.

Thousands of people are staying in tents and temporary shelters like mosques or schools, with dozens sleeping on the floor or in crowded public facilities.

The vast archipelago, which sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, has suffered its worst annual death toll from disasters in more than a decade.

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