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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Irwin Fedriansyah/AP/Press Association Images Indonesian soldiers stand in the grave near the coffins containing the victims of Mount Merapi eruption during a mass burial in Umbulharjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this morning.
# Indonesia
Indonesia's tsunami warning system was vandalised
Coastal communities in danger from the giant waves did not receive the official warning before disaster struck on Monday.

OVER 330 PEOPLE ARE BELIEVED to have been killed by the tsunami which struck Indonesia on Monday night, and another 370 remain missing.

Al Jazeera reports that the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that around 4,000 people were displaced by the disaster.

However, tsunami survivors said they received no warning about the impending waves, despite the introduction of a specialised warning system after the 2004 Asian tsunami.

An official warning was issued just after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the country, but that warning apparently did not reach coastal communities in the path of the tsunami.

Ridwan Jamaluddin of the Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology told the Telegraph that part of the system – two buoys at sea – had been vandalised: “We don’t say they are broken down but they were vandalised and the equipment is expensive”.

Officials said bodies were still  being found on beaches along coastal areas which bore the brunt of the tsunami.

Mass burial for volcano victims

The volcanic eruption from Mount Merapi is believed to have killed at least 30 people. Tests are being carried out on remains discovered on the volcano which are feared to belong to an elderly man appointed as the spiritual guardian of the volcano, Mbah Maridhan.

Reuters reports that many Javanese believe the guardian possessed special powers. Many of the volcano’s victims were found in or near his home in a village close to the volcano’s crater.

The Jakarta Post described the scene following the eruption: “the stench of sulfur and dead livestock was in the air with thick ash covering flattened houses, turning the area eerie white”.

The Post reports that officials hoped to have finished the identification process of the remains of volcano victims in time for a mass burial this morning.

The current drop in Merapi’s volcanic activity may be a temporary, according to Indonesia’s top vulcanologist.

Surono, the chief of the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation told the Telegraph: ”It’s a little calmer today. But a lot of energy is pent up back there. There’s no telling what’s next.”

This footage from Russia Today shows emergency crews searching for survivors among the volcanic debris: