The death toll from the Indonesian tsunami has risen to 222, with at least 30 people still reported missing. The number of injured victims is close to 1,000 and officials are certain the number will rise as rescuers are yet to reach every affected area. The wall of water is thought to have reached 16ft (five metre) high and decimated coastal areas around the Sunda Strait, running between the Java and Sumatra islands late last night (2.30pm GMT).
Krakatoa reportedly remains active and its status is Erupting, according to VolcanoDiscovery.com.
The tsunami is believed to have been triggered by the eruption of Anak Krakatoa volcano.
This seismic activity is likely to have caused underwater landslides.
Anak Krakatoa volcano has been increasingly active since June, frequently spewing thick plumes of rock miles into the sky.
Anak Krakatoa came out of the ocean following the 1883 eruption on nearby Krakatoa.
That eruption is considered to be the most violent volcanic event in history, generating the loudest explosion ever recorded.
And the eruption affected weather patterns and global temperatures for years.
There is thought to have been little or no warning of today’s tsunami.
And even warning systems would have been unlikely to have had much effect, even if they had been in place.
Professor David Rothery, of The Open University’s Planetary Geosciences department, said: “Tsunami warning buoys are positioned to warn of tsunamis originated by earthquakes at underwater tectonic plate boundaries.
“Even if there had been such a bout right next to Anak Krakatau, this is so close to the affected shorelines that warning time would have been minimal given the high speeds at which tsunami waves travel.”
The tsunami’s devastating force was reportedly intensified by tidal waves caused by the full moon.
The worst affected area is the Pandeglang region of Banten province in Java.
The region covers the Ujung Kulon National Park and beaches popular with tourists, to the south-east of Anak Krakatau.
The tsunami also struck the Serang province on Java and South Lampung in Sumatra, to the north of the Anak Krakatoa volcano.
Emergency services are reportedly finding it difficult to reach the more remote affected areas due to roads blocked by scattered debris, overturned cars and fallen trees.
The tsunami that hit Indonesia’s Sunda Strait is only the latest in a succession of tragedies to affect the archipelago this year.
More than 100 died when an earthquake struck the island of Lombok in August.
At least 31 people drowned when a ferry travelling from Sulawesi to Selayar island capsized in July.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake also rocked the area around the island of Sulawesi in September, spawning a tsunami.
And approximately 200 people died when a passenger plane travelling from Jakarta to the island of Bangka crashed into the sea in October.