Indonesia: Tidal Wave/Tsunami in Banten Information Bulletin

This bulletin is issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Indonesian Red Cross – Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), are continuing to monitor and respond to the situation with local and national resources. If required, additional financial resources will be sought via the relevant IFRC international disaster response mechanism.

The situation

The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) and the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) reported that high tide/tsunami hit Carita Beach in Banten Province, and hit the coast around the Sunda Strait, especially in Pandenglang, South Lampung and Serang districts.on 22 December 2018 at 21:27hrs.

The event is recorded four times in four different locations with height of 30-90 cm and has 168 fatalities, 745 injured, 30 missing, 558 houses damaged, 9 unit hotel damaged, 60 damaged food stall, 350 boats damaged. The highest wave hit Serang sub-district at 21.27h local time with the height of 90 cm. BMKG issued high-tide warning before the tsunami struck for the mentioned area, however, this warning is not for tsunami early warning nor related to Mount Krakatoa activity.

The highway connecting Serang and Pandeglang was cut off due to the tsunami. 430 houses, nine hotels, 10 boats and dozens of vehicles reported damaged in three sub-districts, namely Padenglang, South Lampung and Serang.

Pandeglang is the worst affected area with 33 deaths, 491 injured, 400 houses and nine hotels damaged. There were reports about population movement after this disaster, but the actual situation is being assessed and numbers are being verified. Settlements and tourist sites on Tanjung Lesung Beach, Sumur Beach, Teluk Lada Beach, Panimbang Beach, and Carita Beach were severely affected. There were huge number of tourists in the coastal area of Pandeglang, one of the worst affected areas when the event struck.

In Lampung, 7 people died, 89 injured and 30 unit of houses heavily damaged and about 2,000 being displaced, while in Serang 3 people died, 4 injured and 2 missing. The assessment is still on going, the casualties might increase, based on government official report. The impact is likely to continue to grow considering that not all affected areas have been assessed.

Response by the provincial disaster management agency (BPBD):

BPBD together with the military, police, the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas), local government office, Ministry of Social Welfare Volunteers (Tagana), Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), volunteers and the community are providing emergency response support to the affected people.

Government has not yet declared emergency status or released response structure yet, currently it’s being locally coordinated along with the establishment of command post, field kitchen and displacement site. Heavy equipment is being dispatched to clear debris to ease evacuation and response.

The initial prediction on the cause could be that of a possible underwater landslide due to the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau combined with higher than usual tides due to the full moon. The causes of this event are being investigated by BMKG (Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics), BNPB (Indonesian Disaster Management Authority) and PVMBG (Centre of Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation). This Government has issued a warning of no activity along the coastal area.