Krakatoa volcano (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): strong eruptive phase, tsunami hits West Coast of Java

Sat, 22 Dec 2018, 22:47
22:47 PM | BY: T
Lava flows entering the sea and lava fountaining from Anak Krakatau this evening (22 Dec 2018; image: Øystein Lund Andersen / facebook)
Lava flows entering the sea and lava fountaining from Anak Krakatau this evening (22 Dec 2018; image: Øystein Lund Andersen / facebook)
Tsunami entering the coast of Anyer 22 Dec 2018 (image: Øystein Lund Andersen / facebook)
Tsunami entering the coast of Anyer 22 Dec 2018 (image: Øystein Lund Andersen / facebook)
[Update 4]:
According to the latest information, 43 people died, 584 were injured and two persons are still missing persons from last evening's tsunami on Java's west coast. In addition, 430 houses and 9 hotels were heavily damaged according to information from PNBG.

The current eruptive phase of the volcano seems to be in fact rather strong. A new lava flow is reaching the sea and strong explosive activity, likely pulsating lava fountains are occurring at the summit vent.
Our friend Øystein Lund Andersen reported that a small tsunami, possibly caused by stronger explosions from the volcano, hit the west coast of Java near Anyer, where we was on the evening of 22 Dec observing the volcano. A first wave traveled 15-20 m inland and was followed by another (stronger) one that invaded the street and buildings near the coast. According to his report, it drowned cars, injured and possibly killed an unknown number of people. However, not much other news have reported a major incident, so it might have been not as severe as reported, fortunately.

UPDATE: another possibility is that the waves were unusually strong spring tide waves; there is no official confirmation for a tsunami to have occurred (yet).
2nd UPDATE: more news is slowly emerging. Unfortunately, it seems that indeed the waves were a tsunami and caused at least 20 fatalities, according to BCC, referring to Indonesian governmental sources.
3rd UPDATE:
Indonesia's Civil Protection Agency (BNPG) has officially announced that a tsunami has occurred and hit several coastal areas in the Sunda Strait, including on the coast in Pandeglang, Serang, and South Lampung Regencies. The tsunami occurred on 12/22/2018 around 9:27 p.m. WIB.
According to them, the tsunami was not caused by earthquakes (as no tectonic activity was detected), but most likely by an underwater landslide of accumulated sediments giving way. Whether it was caused by the eruption of Krakatoa and where exactly is still unclear. Its size also may have been increased by the influence of the full moon spring tide.
The Geological Agency detected that the start of the current paroxysm of the volcano began at 21:03 WIB local time. It damaged the local seismic station (probably it was hit by lava bombs).
The full impact of the tsunami is still unclear, but preliminary data indicate 20 people died and 165 people were injured; 2 people were missing and dozens of buildings were damaged. Unfortunately, the number of victims is likely to continue to grow considering that it is still night in Indonesia and not all areas have been investigated.
People are encouraged to remain calm and avoid the coast of the Sunda Strait for a while. BMKG and the Geology Agency are still conducting further research.

Below is Øystein's original post:

Previous news

Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Improved multilanguage support
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Detailed quake stats
  • Additional seismic data sources
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.
Home | Travel | Destinations | Volcanoes | Photos | Earthquakes | About | Glossary | News | Contact | Privacy | Imprint | EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU
Follow us:Follow us on facebookFollow us on InstagramFollow us on TwitterVisit our Youtube channel