A tsunami hit beaches around Sunda Strait in Indonesia on December 22, killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500. Hundreds of houses, in addition to many hotels and other buildings were heavily damaged, as the tsunami hit residential and tourist areas during the holiday season. The tsunami, which struck with no warning, was likely caused by a combination of underwater landslides due to an eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano between Java and Sumatra. Authorities have issued extreme weather warnings for heavy rains that hinder rescue operations, while fears grow over the possibility of further volcanic activity.
Indonesia has been hit by a series of natural disasters in recent weeks, including a powerful earthquake that hit the island of Sulawesi on September 28. In the towns of Baleroa and Petobo, rivers of soil swept away entire neighborhoods in the aftermath of the magnitude-7.5 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The death toll from the quake was nearly 2,000. Americares emergency response experts have been working in the country
since the September quake, and an emergency responder is deploying with officials in the region to assess what assistance may be needed.
The latest tsunami evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on December 26 in 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.