Updated 28 December 2018
The 30-90cm tsunami waves that struck the Sunda Strait were caused by an underwater landslide from an eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau.
More than 420 deaths have been confirmed so far, with more bodies recovered each day. Well over 1,500 people were injured and some 16,000 people forced to flee their homes. The seaside town of Pandeglang, a popular tourist spot in Banten province, was hit hardest.
Since the first hours of the disaster, Indonesian Red Cross teams have been providing first aid and medical care, clearing debris, and supporting search and rescue efforts in Lampung and Banten provinces.
“Our teams are seeing many broken bones and broken homes, and people who are very shaken,” reported Arfin M. Hadi from Indonesian Red Cross. “Indonesians have withstood a string of disasters this year and with them, so much loss and misery.”
The Red Cross response includes 24 ambulances and medical crews, five mobile medical units and a team of orthopaedic specialist doctors; plus 14 water trucks and two helicopters to support search and rescue efforts. Blankets, tarpaulins, sleeping mats and hygiene items are being distributed from nearby warehouses.
Indonesian authorities are concerned about further eruptions from Mount Anak Krakatau and people in areas affected by the tsunami are being warned to stay one kilometre away from the coast.
Aulia Arriani from Indonesian Red Cross says: “Many thousands of people are still living in neighbours’ houses or on higher ground. Some are sleeping in mosques with no windows or doors, so they get cold at night. It’s a wait-and-see situation.”
While the focus is now on survival and medical care, in the coming weeks and months Red Cross will help people live safely, avoid illness and mental health complications, and plan for the future.
Indonesian Red Cross, supported by the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, aims to assist more than 7,000 people with medical care, psychosocial support, sanitation services and clean water.
People separated from family members in Lampung and Banten can visit this website to search for them or register their own whereabouts.