A large chunk of a flank of the volcanic Anak Krakatau island slipped into the ocean and triggered a tsunami that hit Indonesian shores, killing hundreds of people, officials and scientists said on Monday.
At least 281 people were killed, hundreds injured and many buildings were heavily damaged when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands, late on Saturday.
Anak Krakatau had been spewing ash and lava for months before a 64-hectare (0.64 square km) section of the southwest side of the volcano collapsed, an Indonesian official said.
“This caused an underwater landslide and eventually caused the tsunami,” said Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the meteorological agency, adding that the waves hit shorelines 24 minutes later.
Images captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite showed that a large portion on the southern flank of the volcano slid off into the ocean, scientists said.
“When that land pushes into the ocean … it displaces the ocean surface causing the vertical displacement that causes the tsunami,” Sam Taylor-Offord, a seismologist at GNS Science in Wellington, said of underwater landslides.
The timing of the tsunami, over the Christmas holiday season, revived memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.
Taylor-Offord said the eruption and “high noise environment” may be why the landslide was not recorded seismically.
The fact the tsunami was triggered by a volcano, and not by an earthquake, may be the reason why no tsunami warning was triggered, scientists said.
Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as an earthquake or receding water along the shore, before waves up to 3 meters (10 feet) high surged in.
Jose Borrero, coastal engineering expert specializing in tsunami hazards at eCoast Marine Consulting, said landslide-generated volcanic tsunami were more of a mystery than tsunami generated by earthquakes, which are better studied.
There are so many different variables involved with the landslide-generated tsunami and a “sweet spot” of exactly the right speed and volume of rocks slipping into and sea and down submerged slopes to generate a wave.
“In Indonesia, we’ve all been waiting for another big earthquake-tsunami and then boom, here we have a volcanic landslide one,” said Borrero.
“I’ve seen a few bits of imagery that suggest there’s some sort of slant collapse that may extend underwater but none of this will be confirmed until there can be an offshore survey where they go and map the seafloor.”
Mexico: Death Toll Rises To 73 In Fuel Pipeline Explosion
The number of people killed in the fuel pipeline explosion that happened on Saturday in Hidalgo, Mexico has risen to 73 while 74 others are severely injured.
Having spent an estimated $3 billion in 2017 in highly publicized war on fuel theft, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed on Saturday to redouble efforts in his fight against an epidemic of fuel theft that caused the explosion.
“We have to continue with the plan to end fuel theft,” “We will not stop. We will eradicate this.” The president said during a news conference later at the presidential palace in Mexico City.
The government’s strategy has included diverting fuel from the pipelines most heavily targeted by criminal gangs, and transporting it by truck. But the logistical changes have slowed deliveries across the country, causing shortages and long lines at service stations.
Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Divisions
A Regional Economic Summit Lebanon is preparing to host this weekend has been overshadowed by divisions over Syria’s future and efforts to contain Iran.
Many heads of state now say they will stay away.
The Emirs of Qatar and Kuwait will not attend, Egypt is planning to send the prime minister rather than the president, while the Palestinian authority president has said he will be in New York.
The snub seems to be a message to Iran, whose allies, including Hezbollah, hold power in Lebanon and support the Syrian government.
Iran’s allies saw the talks as an opportunity to bring Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad back into the Arab fold. They were hoping an Arab league foreign minister-level meeting before the summit would provide a chance to hold a vote on Syria’s reinstatement to the regional body.
The Arab league suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 and imposed economic sanctions over its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters before the country descended into civil war. Some countries withdrew their ambassadors.
Colombia: 11 Killed, 65 Injured In A Car Bomb
Colombian officials say 11 persons were killed and 65 others were injured after a car bomb detonated in the capital Bogota.
A high-ranking police official disclosed that the explosion appeared to be the result of a suicide attack.
Police said the driver rammed the vehicle into the grounds of a police academy at full speed and ignored calls to stop. The driver is presumed to have died in the blast, but it is unclear if authorities are counting the attacker in the death toll.
President Ivan Du-Kay has condemned the attack as terrorism and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. He has also declared a three-day mourning period.
- Mexico: Death Toll Rises To 73 In Fuel Pipeline Explosion January 20, 2019
- Prime Minister And Cabinet Members Resign In Burkina Faso January 20, 2019
- Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Divisions January 18, 2019
- Colombia: 11 Killed, 65 Injured In A Car Bomb January 18, 2019
- Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Pages Link To Russian Sites January 18, 2019
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