After deadly surprise tsunami, Indonesia is in mourning and on edge


NICK SCHIFRIN: The official casualty count
in this weekend’s Indonesian tsunami keeps rising. Today, officials confirmed at least 373 dead,
and they said the number will likely increase. In Serang, Indonesia tonight, the Christmas
Eve mass was heavy with tragedy. They prayed for fellow parishioners swept
away by the weekend, tsunami. ROBERETUS BOWO SANTOSO, Indonesia (through
translator): Some of our church members are also victims of this tragedy. Even now, some of them are in the process
of burials outside the town. NICK SCHIFRIN: It was Saturday night when
the tsunami hit Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra, with no warning. A local pop band was performing at the moment
the waves arrived. Multiple band members died, and members of
the crowd were swept away. DESTIAWAN, Tsunami Survivor (through translator):
When I saw water come in, about knee-high, I tried to run, but suddenly the current dragged
me, and I was drifting away. NICK SCHIFRIN: Today, that beach resort is
destroyed, as are local villages. And search teams fanned out looking for signs
of life. They are getting better organized, says the
International Red Cross’ Steve McAndrew. STEVE MCANDREW, International Red Cross: It’s
getting better every minute, as debris is being cleared. The government and the Indonesian armed forces
are responding. They’re in the area sort of making access
better every minute, every hour. NICK SCHIFRIN: And that’s allowed those who
fled the tsunami to return today. But they say they have had to clean up themselves. JAJAM, Indonesia (through translator): We’re
grateful that we’re safe now, and aid is coming in from communities and the city central,
but we haven’t received any from the government yet. NICK SCHIFRIN: In all, some 1,500 were injured. And health clinics are overwhelmed. Family members line up outside, anxiously
checking patient lists. It’s been just three months since another
tsunami caused by an earthquake killed more than 2,000 people. Saturday’s tsunami is thought to have been
triggered by underwater landslides caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatoa Volcano. That means Child of Krakatoa Volcano, which
erupted in the 1880s and killed 36,000 people. Today, President Joko Widodo visited the tsunami
zone, and acknowledged there is no system to detect a tsunami triggered by a volcano. JOKO WIDODO, Indonesian President (through
translator): In the future, the government will provide detection equipment, warning
systems that can give warning to everyone. NICK SCHIFRIN: But, for now, people on these
islands, are living in fear of another tsunami, especially after the volcano erupted again
yesterday. STEVE MCANDREW: Just have to be alert. The government has recommended people to stay
away from the coast at least until 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the 26th, so another two
days. NICK SCHIFRIN: Many will spend that time grieving. The lead singer of the band that was hit is
apparently its only surviving member. On Instagram, he asked people to pray for
his band mates and his wife, all washed away by the tsunami. A government spokesman today admitted the
country’s network of buoys, designed to detect tsunamis, haven’t worked since 2012 because
of vandalism and budget shortfalls.

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