UPDATED: Death Toll in Indonesia Tsunami Continues to Rise, Thousands Injured, Missing

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A tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption on a remote island in Indonesia swept across the beaches of Banten mangling concreate, ripping homes, hotels off their foundations and killing more than 400 and injuring more than 1500.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head of The National Head of Disaster Countermeasure (BNPB) Date Information and Public Relations Center, used twitter to update the world on the grave statistics, "The victims of the tsunami in the Sunda Strait continues to grow. The joint SAR team continues to operate. Temporary data to 24/12/2018 at 17.00 WIB, recorded 373 people died, 1,459 people injured 128, missing persons, and 5,665 people evacuate. Estimated casualties were still growing."

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Nugroho also posted several first responder videos of the destruction, debris and rubble. They can be seen here.

The South Korean boy band, Seventeen, were playing a beachfront gig mid-set when the giant wave crashed the shore. Video shows what looks like a convulsion with the set, instruments, stage and band members heaving forward overcome by the wave. Several members of the band have been confirmed dead, along the band's manager. 

As of Monday, the only surviving member of the band is lead singer Riefian Fajarsyah. Services have already been held for several members of the band who were found immediately. Farjarsyah's wife, Dylan, has been identified and services held. Reports indicate the drummer Andi Darmawan is also deceased.

President Trump offered condolences via the micro messaging platform Twitter, "Unthinkable devastation from the tsunami disaster in Indonesia. More than two hundred dead and nearly a thousand injured or unaccounted for. We are praying for recovery and healing. America is with you!" Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 

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The holiday season traditionally brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the tropical islands and pristine beaches of the small Indonesian nation to unplug, unwind and simply escape. This time the pleasure trip along Banten coast became a nightmare as a Tsunami struck, without warning, at 9:27pm on December 22,2018.

Already five days after and many throughout the region are arriving in the devastated province to assist in the search and rescue. First responders from Jakarta, Java and international agencies already in place are aiding the frantic, by hand, search of debris and rubble.

Hope is dwindling of finding any additional survivors. Rain has hampered resuce and recovery efforts. More than 16,000 are now homeless and without revenue as homes and shops fully stocked for holiday tourists were all washed away. Conflicting information on surrounding beaches effected has been trickling in to foriegn press agencies. Damages estimates continue to rise.

Volcanic activity, not an earthquake or unprecedented explosion is being blamed for the Tsunami. Reports indicated the tidal serge of more than 3meters high, combined with a naturally high tide, making the wave more than 10feet and closer to 12 feet struck without warning.

A earthquake tsunami warning system is allegedly in place created after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which registered a magnitude of 9.3 and created waves in a radius of nearly 100ft high. There was no seismic activity associated with the 2018 Banten Tsunami.

Locals were accustomed to the small eruptions from Anak Krakatu as it has been erupting continuously, without issue or injury, since June 2018. Even with an alert system in place the volcano didn't register a strong enough explosion to trigger the warning system. The last strong explosion was registered as June 2012.

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Unlike Hawaii's Mauna Loa, Anak krakatu doesn't produce a continuous flow of lava. It is not the only volcano in the world that has produced a tsunami generated as slabs of the mountain side, some in excess of one ton, have dislodged and fallen into the ocean. Geologists in Norway, on the other side of the world, indicate they are overdue for a similar natural catastrophe, as the first mountainside collapse occurred 80 years ago producing a decimating tsunami.

The death toll is expected to grow as the missing outnumber the found. Reports indicate the tsunami was not localized to Banten region and beaches in Pandeglang, Serang Regency, Lampung Selatan, Pesawaran and Tanggamus, have also been affected.

This is a developing story.

Images from Sutopo Purwo Nugroho twitter feed @ Sutopo_PN

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