News / Asia

Deadly Tsunami Hits Islands in Western Indonesia

Residents flee their homes to higher ground after a strong earthquake is felt in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. The powerful earthquake hit off western Indonesia late Monday, triggering a tsunami warning that sent thousands of panicked residents fleeing
Residents flee their homes to higher ground after a strong earthquake is felt in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. The powerful earthquake hit off western Indonesia late Monday, triggering a tsunami warning that sent thousands of panicked residents fleeing

Multimedia

Audio

Indonesian officials say at least 113 people are confirmed dead after tsunami struck a remote area in the country's west.  Hundreds are reported missing.

Reports of severe damage began to trickle in Tuesday, hours after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake created a tsunami late Monday night.

The waves up to three meters high hit the Mentawai islands, about 280 kilometers off western Sumatra. There are reports that hundreds of homes on the islands were damaged by the quake or the waves.

Wisnu Wijaya, the preparedness director with the National Disaster Management Agency, says the government is getting aid to the islands.

"We already sent a rapid response team to this area, coordinated by the provincial government. We have local disaster management at Padang, because right now the condition of the wave is quite high," said Wijaya.

High waves and stormy weather have made it difficult to reach the affected areas. Communication is also a problem. Wijaya says emergency shelters have been set up and the first team from Sumatra was arriving Tuesday evening to begin a rapid assessment of the aid that was needed.

The quake could be felt as far away as Singapore. It sent tsunami warning systems into action along Sumatra's western coast. It is the latest in a line of natural disasters to hit the area, but Wijaya says for now the damage is manageable.

"Up to now, I think we still can manage this problem," added Wijaya.  "Maybe also we'll send staff to go there and make a better coordination. If they need national resources to deploy there, we'll be ready to support local government."

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area prone to seismic shifts that spark earthquakes and volcanic activity. A massive earthquake in 2004 generated a monster wave that killed more than 230,000 people across the Indian Ocean.

After that disaster Indonesia worked to establish early warning systems and disaster management programs to help deal with future quakes.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid