This handout from Indonesia's Social Affairs Ministry taken and released on December 23, 2018 shows bodies of victims being carried into a makeshift mortuary in Carita, after the area was hit by a tsunami on December 22 following an eruption of the Anak Krakatoa volcano. Image Credit: AFP

Jakarta 

December 24: Indonesian disaster agency spokesman says death toll from tsunami has risen past 280 with more than 1,000 people injured. "The number of victims and damage will continue to rise," said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. 

December 23: The death toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 222, with more than 800 people injured, officials said Sunday. "222 people are dead, 843 people are injured and 28 people are missing," Indonesia's national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"This number is predicted to increase because not all victims have been successfully evacuated, not all health centres have reported victims and not all locations have got complete data."

"The total number of people who have died is 168 people, 745 were injured and 30 people are missing," Indonesia's national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said earlier. More than 800 were reported injured and 28 missing after the tsunami hit around the Sunda Strait on Saturday night, the Disaster Management Agency said. The toll could continue to rise because some areas had not yet been reached.

Early reports said at least 62 people have been killed and nearly 600 injured in the tsunami that is likely caused by a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa.

In this image made from video, debris are seen on street after a tsunami hit the coast in Serang city, in Banten Province, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018 Image Credit: AP

Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches without warning in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30 pm local time (1430 GMT) on Saturday, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

Watch: Band hit by tsunami

Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

"The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast," Nugroho said, but added that Indonesia's geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.

He added that the death toll would likely increase.

Watch: The eruption of the Krakatoa volcano

Video footage posted to social media by Nugroho showed panicked residents clutching flashlights and fleeing for higher ground.

Indonesian authorities initially claimed the wave was not a tsunami, but instead a tidal surge and urged the public not to panic.

Nugroho later apologised for the mistake on Twitter, saying because there was no earthquake it had been difficult to ascertain the cause of the incident early on.

"If there is an initial error we're sorry," he wrote.

'It went dark'

The wave swamped parts of the coast around the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra island, but was most damaging in Pandeglang district, on Java's western tip, where 33 people died and 491 people were injured.

At Carita beach, a popular day-tripping spot on the west coast of Java, 15-year-old Muhammad Bintang described a sudden surge of water that plunged the tourist spot into darkness.

"We arrived at 9 pm for our holiday and suddenly the water came - it went dark, the electricity is off," he told AFP.

"It's messy outside and we still cannot access the road."

In Lampung province, on the other side of the strait, Lutfi Al Rasyid said he fled the beach in Kalianda city in fear for his life.

"I could not start my motorbike so I left it and I ran... I just prayed and ran as far as I could," the 23 year old told AFP

Although relatively rare, submarine volcanic eruptions can cause tsunamis due to the sudden displacement of water or slope failure, according to the International Tsunami Information Centre.

Anak Krakatoa is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa's deadly 1883 eruption.

When Krakatoa erupted in the 19th century, a jet of ash, stones and smoke shot more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) into the sky, plunging the region into darkness, and sparking a huge tsunami that was felt around the world.

The disaster killed more than 36,000 people.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire', where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Most recently in the city of Palu on Sulawesi island a quake and tsunami killed thousands of people.

In 2004 a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the archipelago.

Indonesia quakes and tsunamis

Indonesia sits on the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. Here are some of the major quakes and tsunamis in recent years:

2004: A massive 9.1 magnitude quake on the western coast of Indonesia's Aceh province in northern Sumatra on Dec. 26 triggered a tsunami that struck 14 countries, killing 226,000 people along the Indian Ocean coastline, more than half of them in Aceh.

2005: A series of strong quakes hit the western coast of Sumatra in late March and early April. Hundreds died in Nias Island, off the coast of Sumatra.

2006: A 6.8 magnitude quake hit south of Java, Indonesia's most populated island, triggering a tsunami that smashed into the southern coast, killing nearly 700 people.

2009: A 7.6 magnitude quake struck near the city of Padang, capital of West Sumatra province. More than 1,100 people were killed.

2010: A 7.5 magnitude quake hit one of the Mentawai islands, off Sumatra, triggering a tsunami of up to 10 metres that destroyed dozens of villages and killed around 300 people.

2016: A shallow quake hit the Pidie Jaya regency in Aceh, causing destruction and panic as people were reminded by the devastation of the deadly 2004 quake and tsunami. No tsunami was triggered, but more than 100 were killed by fallen buildings.

2018: Major quakes hit Indonesia's tourist island of Lombok, killing more than 500 people, mostly on the northern side of the island.

2018: More than 2,000 people were killed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu, on the west coast of Sulawesi island.


UAE leaders send condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Abu Dhabi-President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a cable of condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the victims of Tsunami, which hit coastal areas.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar cables.

*With inputs from various agencies