#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021
Advertisement

Death roll rises after Indonesia's Day from Hell (gallery)

The combined death toll from the earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruptions tops 150 and will keep rising.

AT LEAST 154 PEOPLE have now been killed after Indonesia was devastated by an earthquake, its resulting tsunami, and a series of volcanic eruptions – all within 24 hours.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper reports that hundreds more people are still missing as a result of the tsunami, which hit the Mentawai islands in Wester Sumatra late on Monday night – hours after local authorities had lifted a tsunami warning following an earlier offshore earthquake, which has been downgraded by the US Geographic Survey to a magnitude of 5.8, from 7.5.

The three-metre-high waves created by the quake resulted in a “wall of white water” pummelling many coastal villages, leaving so many dead that the Washington Post reports there were simply not enough people to dig enough graves, and causing the corpes to be left simply abandoned along the shore.


AFP puts the death toll at 154, quoting a disaster management official, while another 400 remain missing. Rescuers are continuing their search, but – with the memories of the 2004 Christmas Day tsunami still imprinted in their minds – the chances of recovering survivors seem slim, as operations are hampered by bad weather and a series of aftershocks.

The situation is not helped by the fact that the bulk of any potential humanitarian aid operation is based in Jakarta, which CNN reports is a full ten hours away (in good conditions).

Meanwhile, rescue operations are continuing at the site of Mount Merapi, the country’s most active volcano, which erupted in the aftermath of the same earthquake and killed 18 people – including a two-month-old baby.

Its eruption has covered the area’s foothills in plumes of dust, while the intense clouds obscuring the cone of the volcano seem set to continue for many weeks.

Death roll rises after Indonesia's Day from Hell (gallery)
1 / 10
  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (01)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (02)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (03)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (04)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (05)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (06)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (07)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (08)

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (09) **Warning: graphic**

  • Indonesia's Day from Hell (10)

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS