The death toll from a tsunami that struck two Indonesian provinces near the Sunda Strait rose to at least 168 people, and left hundreds others injured, according to a government agency.
More than 400 homes, nine hotels and 10 ships were severely damaged by the tsunami that hits shores in Lampung and Banten provinces, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement. The number of casualties and damaged infrastructure is expected to grow.
Indonesia’s meteorological agency is investigating the cause of tsunami, though it suspects under-sea erosion triggered by volcanic activity of Mount Anak Krakatau and moon gravitation was the cause.
Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are prone to earthquakes because the country straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines and volcanoes that causes frequent seismic upheavals.
At least 160,000 people were killed on Sumatra island as a result of a 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004. More than 1,100 people were killed in another tsunami and earthquake on the same island in 2009.
Meanwhile Skift understands that Indonesia’s tourism minister, Arief Yahya, has activated a Tourism Crisis Center team to gather information about affected tourism ecosystems and to provide care to tourists.
All promotional activities in affected destinations have also been halted.
Lampung and Banten are popular for their beaches and natural attractions, including a national park that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This article has been updated to include the latest death toll at 4.45pm Sunday, local time
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