World Vision Races to Disaster Zone After Hundreds Die in Indonesian Tsunami

World Vision Indonesia has rushed an emergency response team to Sunda Strait to establish the humanitarian impact of a three-meter tsunami that has killed at least 222 people and injured more than 843.

The death toll is likely to rise as information comes in from coastal villages and rural areas decimated by the tsunami.  Indonesians have been devastated by yet another natural disaster, this time thought to have been generated by a landslip following an eruption of the Krakatoa volcano which sits in the Sunda Strait. 

In the space of four months Indonesia has suffered three major disasters. In September, the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami killed over 2,100 people. A month earlier, an earthquake in Lombok killed over 560. 

Staff member, health specialist Natasya Phebe, who was in the disaster area on a Christmas holiday break, said she noticed things didn’t seem right.

She said: “I was actually at a restaurant on the beach right before the tsunami hit. I noticed the level of the sea was higher and there was lots of garbage in the water. Then I heard the ocean rumbling and felt an odd vibration. We decided to leave, and then 10 minutes later the tsunami hit and now that restaurant is gone.” The panic was so great that as people fled there were a number of vehicle accidents.

World Vision’s local partner Wahana Visi Indonesia has dispatched an assessment team who will liaise with local authorities and emergency services to evaluate the scale of the impact and what support might be needed.  In any response World Vision works in coordination with the government. 

World Vision’s focus is on supporting children and their communities. Interventions typically include providing clean water, food and nutrition assistance, emergency relief packs and helping children recover and health from the emotional and mental distress with specially designed safe places.

Wahana Visi Indonesia’s Communications manager Priscilla Christin reported:  "There was no warning for this tsunami, it just happened. So many buildings have been damaged and hotels too. Some roads to Jakarta are blocked, so we are having difficulties travelling from there to all the areas which are affected."