Tsunami: Sunda Strait, Indonesia

23rd December 2018

My dear Sisters and Friends,

Many of you already have contacted us showing your concern about our situation here in Indonesia. We, rscj are physically safe but emotionally we are really sad as we watch a live update of the happenings in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, linking the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea. The tsunami thought to have been caused by the eruption of the Child Krakatoa volcano, which may have triggered underwater landslides hit at about 9.20pm on Saturday night and is still going on.

A simple Indonesian rock band ‘Seventeen’ was midway through a performance in a tent at Tanjung Lesung beach resort in west Java when the wave hit, destroying the stage and dragging the musicians and members of the audience with it. More people were here than usual to enjoy the end-of-year holidays.

This is what we know so far:  262 people have been killed and 843 injured; several are missing; 586 houses, nine hotels, around 70 small food stalls and 350 boats are known to be damaged. Authorities expect the death toll to rise as many affected areas have not yet been reached. The disaster management agency has warned people to stay away from the coastline due to the fear of another tsunami.

The Red Cross, Oxfam and other agencies are on site in some of the worst affected areas of Pandeglang, Lampung and Serang. Those alive are being evacuated. The glimpse of life and hope in the midst of death and messiness was when we heard that a child of five was sucked in by the first wave that hit and then was brought back alive by the second wave!

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire – the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific Rim. This has certainly been true this year for Indonesia with the earthquake in Lombok, double earthquake-and-tsunami in Sulawesi, the Lion Air plane crash and now the tsunami after the eruption of the Child Krakatoa.

Thank you for your prayer. I ask you to remember us in a special way at your Veillee on the 24th. We count on our Cor Unum.

Much love,

Gera rscj
For the Indonesia Area