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Indonesian tsunami rescue efforts continue as country marks 2004 disaster
Jakarta, Dec 26 (IANS) Indonesian authorities on Wednesday resumed the search for 154 people missing after a tsunami hit the Sunda Strait coasts as the country commemorates the anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that killed around 230,000 people.
According to the latest official figures, which authorities say could increase, the death toll has reached at least 429, with more than 1,500 injured and some 16,000 displaced.
The rain continues to hamper rescue work on the fourth day of searching the ruins of collapsed buildings, vehicles and thick vegetation, reports Efe.
Experts believe the giant waves were caused by the collapse of part of Anak Krakatau volcano after it erupted in the Sunda Strait.
Fear of a new tsunami caused by the volcano’s continued activity has led officials to warn residents to avoid the coasts.
On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people fled to high ground in Java’s Sumur district during a new Anak Krakatau explosion.
Indonesia on Wednesday also commemorates the 167,799 people who lost their lives in the country in 2004 as a result of the December 26 Boxing Day tsunami caused by a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off the northern coast of Sumatra. The disaster also caused deaths in a dozen other nations around the Indian Ocean, killing around 230,000 people in total.
Various events will take place Wednesday night in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the hardest hit by the natural disaster, under the slogan "Build together, stay alert," chosen for the 14th anniversary.
Indonesia is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken every year by some 7,000 earthquakes, most of them moderate.