News focus - World leaders condole with Indonesian tsunami victims' families by A Abdussalam

News focus - World leaders condole with Indonesian tsunami victims' families  by A Abdussalam

The condition in Sumur Pesisir subdistrict in Pandeglang, Banten, one among the areas hardest hit by the Sunda Strait tsunami. ANTARA PHOTO/Aurora Rinjani/Bal/kye.

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - Condolences from world leaders are pouring in for the families of the victims of the Indonesian tsunami that struck Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java, claiming at least 429 lives on Saturday.

Condolences poured in from home and abroad for the victims. From abroad, condolences were offered by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among others.

A towering tsunami, believed to have been triggered by an avalanche of the slopes of Anak Krakatau due to the volcano`s explosions in Sunda Strait, devastated several regions in the coastal areas of Banten Province in Java and Lampung Province in Sumatra on Saturday (Dec 22).

Anak Krakatau is a small volcanic island located in Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. It emerged from the ocean half a century after Mount Krakatau`s deadly eruption in 1883. The volcano was put on the second-highest alert level in 2012. Anak Krakatau has seen small regular eruptions since June.

The tsunami hit at least 16 coastal places: Carita, Panimbang, Cigeulis, Sumur, Labuan, Tanjung Lesung, Cibaliung, Cimanggu, Pagelaran, Bojong, Anyer, Sangiang Island, Menes, Hampeleum Island, Banyuasin, and South Lampung in Lampung Province.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the death toll in the Sunda Strait tsunami rose to 429 in Banten and South Lampung, an official stated.

Spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted that temporary data until Tuesday at 1 p.m. local time showed that the tsunami in Sunda Strait had killed 429 people.

"A total of 429 people died, and the figure could possibly still increase. The most severe impact in Banten Province is borne by Pandeglang District," Nugroho noted at a press conference at BNPB in Jakarta on Tuesday.

BNPB also noted that until the third day after the Sunda Strait tsunami, 1,485 people were injured, 154 were missing, and 16,082 people were displaced by the tsunami that struck on Saturday night (Dec 22).

The tsunami affected the five districts of Pandeglang and Serang in Banten Province; and South Lampung, Pesawaran and Tanggamus in Lampung Province.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and other high-ranking officials and figures were saddened by the natural disaster and offered their condolences. World leaders also expressed their sympathies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed his condolences to the victims of the Sunda Strait tsunami through a written statement to President Jokowi on Monday.

In the condolence statement, Xi was taken aback on learning that the Sunda Strait tsunami had claimed the lives of people and caused damage to the locals` homes and other public facilities.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as on his own behalf, Xi expressed his condolences to Jokowi over the victims` families, dead, injured, and those who were affected by the natural disaster.

From South Korea, President Moon Jae-in wrote to Jokowi extending condolences over the tsunami that engulfed Sunda Strait last Saturday night.

"I express my deep concern over the tsunami in Sunda Strait that claimed many lives on Dec 22," Moon stated in a letter, a copy of which was made available by the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta to Antara on Monday.

On behalf of the South Korean nation and government, President Moon expressed deep sorrow to the Indonesian people, particularly the relatives of those, who fell victim to the disaster.

"May the Indonesian people soon handle the current situation and come out of this grief under the leadership of President Joko Widodo," he stated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday offered his condolences to Indonesia over a deadly tsunami that hit the country on Saturday night.

"In the name of the Turkish people I hereby express our condolences to all people of Indonesia," Erdogan noted during the Financial General Assembly 2018 meeting of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul, according to Anadolu News Agency on Sunday.

In addition, Malaysia`s Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, through her Twitter account, extended her condolences to the victims of the tsunami that struck Indonesia`s Sunda Strait.

Calling on the president through @jokowi`s Twitter account, Ismail conveyed Malaysia`s readiness to assist post-disaster recovery efforts.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has offered condolences and expressed sympathy through Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi over the tsunami that hit the districts of Pandeglang, Serang, and South Lampung on Saturday.

"We express condolences to the government and all people of Indonesia for the tsunami disaster that caused loss of life and damage in Sunda Strait on December 22, 2018," Minister Kono remarked in a statement from the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta here on Monday.

Kono noted that the Japanese government had expressed readiness to provide assistance to its Indonesian counterpart.

The government and all people of Japan prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the disaster and quick restoration of places damaged by the disaster.

Reporting by Andi Abdussalam

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