Quake of magnitude 4.8 hits Indonesia

Saul Bowman
December 28, 2018

In a statement, Indonesia's air-traffic control agency AirNav said on Thursday: "All flights are rerouted due to Krakatau volcano ash on red alert".

Authorities also widened a no-go zone around Anak Krakatoa to five kilometres - up from a previous two kilometres - and warned shell-shocked residents to stay away from the coast, after more than 400 were killed by Saturday night's killer wave.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said that it is warning people to "remain cautious", according to CNN.

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BMKG said an area of about 64 hectares (222 acres), or about 90 soccer pitches, of the volcanic island had collapsed into the sea. So in an abundance of caution, Karnawati explained: "All these conditions could potentially cause landslides at the cliffs or the crater into the sea, and we fear that could trigger another tsunami", he said during a news conference.

Although the Indonesian government has not requested the external assistance many worldwide partners expressed their readiness to help.

Wednesday also marks the 14th anniversary of the devastating tsunami caused by an quake in 2004, which killed roughly 230,000 people in a dozen Asian countries, including Indonesia.

Christmas celebrations traditionally filled with laughter and uplifting music were replaced by somber prayers for tsunami victims in an area hit without warning, leaving more than 420 people dead and thousands more homeless in disaster-prone Indonesia.

"We usually celebrate with joy and festivities, but with the tsunami, we can only pray humbly and not celebrate much for this year's Christmas", he said.

The eruption came at high tide during a full moon, with the Sunda Strait also experiencing a spell of high rainfall, government and rescue agencies said.

Residents ride in a truck near an area of collapsed houses in Rajabasa in Lampung province on December 25, 2018, three days after a tsunami - caused by activity at a volcano known as the "child" of Krakatoa - hit the west coast of Indonesia's Java island.

Widodo claimed the tsunami which struck over the weekend was beyond Indonesia's now ability to predict.

Residents were again warned on Monday to stay away from beaches over the possibility that another tsunami could strike. Anak Krakatau has been erupting on and off since 1930 and the most recent spell of activity has led officials to upgrade risks to people inland.

This aerial picture taken on December 23, 2018 by Bisnis Indonesia shows the Anak (Child) Krakatau volcano erupting in the Sunda Straits off the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java.

Indonesia is part of a collection of more than 17,000 islands that sit on the geologically-active land referred to by scientists as the "Ring of Fire", and is often hit by earthquakes and tsunamis.

Heavy rain made search and rescue operations more hard. Saturday's event, coupled with an natural disaster and tsunami in September on Sulawesi that killed at least 2,100 people, triggered flashbacks for some who survived the 2004 tragedy.

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