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Indonesia tsunami disaster: Downpours to decrease as rescue operations ramp up this weekend

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 28, 2018, 8:27:07 AM EST


Showers and thunderstorms may continue to hamper rescue and recovery efforts along the Sunda Strait in Indonesia following the tsunami that has killed more than 400.

The tsunami hit the Sunda Strait on Saturday night, leaving at least 430 people dead and injuring over 1,400. At least 20 people are still missing, according to AP News.

Hundreds of homes were heavily damaged as the wall of water swept away anything in its path. Hotels and boats also sustained severe damage.

Water reportedly swept 65 feet (20 meters) inland.

AP/Dian Triyuli Handoko

A man inspects his house which was damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP

Residents inspect a house damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Dian Triyuli Handoko

Cars are covered by debris at an area ravaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Dian Triyuli Handoko

Residents walk past a house damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Dian Triyuli Handoko

A house is seen damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Achmad Ibrahim

A women inspects her house which was damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Fauzy Chaniago

Debris littered a property badly damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP /Dian Triyuli Handoko

A villager walks past a car damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP

A resident walks past housed damaged by a tsunami, in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Fauzy Chaniago

Rescuers search for tsunami victims in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

AP/Fauzy Chaniago

Motorists pass by a car swept away by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. <br/>

AP/Achmad Ibrahim

Indonesian rescuers search for the bodies of tsunami victims in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. <br/>

Achmad Ibrahim

A man walks near debris at a tsunami-ravaged area in Carita, Indonesia, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)


As rescue and recovery efforts continue, there can be additional showers and thunderstorms daily through Friday.

Heavy rain halted convoys delivering heavy machinery and aid to isolated areas in the disaster zone on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Downpours continued to affect search and recovery efforts on Thursday, including delaying a navy vessel's visit to the volcano to determine further risks, according to the Associated Press.

On Friday morning, authorities attempted to confirm reports that the volcano is now much smaller in size, but aerial photos could not be obtained due to cloud cover, according to Gegar Prasetya, co-founder of the Tsunami Research Center Indonesia.

"Only spotty shower and thunderstorm activity will be around this weekend, though the risk of lightning from any thunderstorms can halt rescue and recovery operations as crews will have to seek shelter," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

"Any heavy rain can make dirt roads in remote areas slippery, which may slow down convoys, and cloud cover will continue to hamper observation efforts from above as well," she added.

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Anak Krakatau volcano believed to have triggered tsunami

Indonesia’s disaster management agency said that the tsunami may have been caused by an undersea landslide after the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, according to the AP. The volcano erupted around 24 minutes prior to the tsunami.

A tsunami that is triggered by a volcano is different from a tsunami that is triggered by an earthquake.

indonesia map

(The Sunda Strait in Indonesia is located just northeast of Krakatau)


The tsunami generated waves that were 2 meters (6.5 feet) high. The tsunami occurred during the full moon, when tide levels were already higher than normal.


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