Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

Death toll hits over 60 after Indonesia tsunami

JAKARTA – Dramatic TV footage has emerged showing the moment waves from a tsunami that struck Indonesia on Saturday night (Dec 22) crashed into a stage where a local rock band was performing, pulling away concertgoers and causing the stage to collapse.

Around 250 employees of the state utility company PLN had gathered at the Tanjung Lesung beach in Banten province for an end-of-year event when the tsunami struck, Reuters reported.

At least seven people were killed and many suffered broken bones, company spokesman I Made Suprateka told Reuters.

Video footage by MetroTV showed a crowd watching the band Seventeen performing on stage when it suddenly collapsed.

“The water washed away the stage which was located very close to the sea,” the band said in a statement.

“The water rose and dragged away everyone at the location. We have lost loved ones, including our bassist and manager… and others are missing.”

The band’s lead vocalist, Riefian “Ifan” Fajarsyah, posted a video on Instagram looking distraught as he wiped away tears and asked for prayers for his wife – actress Dylan Sahara – guitarist Herman Sikumbang and drummer Windu Andi Darmawan, who were missing. A crew member for the band named Ujang was also missing, The Jakarta Post reported. Volcano-triggered tsunami kills at least 43 in Indonesia

He said the band had already lost their bassist, Muhammad Awal Purbani, and their manager Oki Wijaya.

According to the statement, the band had been evacuated to nearby clinics, and a search and rescue team had been deployed to the area.

Civil servants from the Youth and Sports Ministry were also on the beach, according to The Jakarta Post.

It was unclear, however, if there was more than one stage along the coastal area in Banten that night.

MetroTV reported that concertgoers were pulled by the high waves.

The Antara news agency quoted a local tourist, Nono from Bekasi in West Java, as saying: “We saw hundreds of people who were watching a music event disappear under the wave.” 

Nono said he and his family were in a prayer room at 9.20pm Jakarta time when he heard a loud rumble and people outside screaming for help. The family got out to save themselves. Nono said he was struck by the waves too, while his 10-year-old son, Alif, found himself thrown some metres away from his original location.

Both were wounded and were attended to by the nearby community health centre, Antara reported. His wife and another child, who ran towards a hill, were not injured. 

Sariman, a Tanjung Lesung resident, said he and his child were hit by the tsunami. He said the waves reached seven meters and he received serious wounds all over his body.

More than 60 people have been killed after the tsunami struck coastal areas around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java

Hundreds were injured and dozens missing in the tsunami, which also damaged hundreds of home and buildings.

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the tsunami was detected at four locations in the provinces of Banten and Lampung at 9.27pm local time.

The highest of the waves was a 90cm tsunami recorded at Jambu Beach in Banten, BMKG chief Dwikorita Karnawati told an Elshinta radio interview.