Indonesia reroutes all flights around erupting Anak Krakatau volcano

Indonesia reroutes all flights around erupting Anak Krakatau volcano
PHOTO: Reuters

JAKARTA - Indonesia on Thursday (Dec 27) rerouted all flights around the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano between Java and Sumatra islands, as it spewed columns of ash into the air, days after it triggered a deadly tsunami.

A crater collapse on the volcanic island at high tide last Saturday sent waves up to five metres high smashing into the coast on the Sunda Strait, killing more than 400 people.

"All flights are rerouted due to Krakatau volcano ash on red alert," the government air-traffic control agency AirNav said in a release.

Authorities raised the volcano's alert level to the second-highest on Thursday, expanding the current two-km to a five-km exclusion zone.

Tsunami kills at least 168 in Indonesia, nearly 600 injured

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    A tsunami following a volcanic eruption killed at least 168 people when it slammed without warning into popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on Saturday night, cutting a swathe of destruction and triggering mass panic as it swept inland.

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    Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm (1430 GMT) following the eruption of a volcano known as the "child" of the legendary Krakatoa, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

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    Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 168 confirmed dead, 745 people injured and 30 reported missing across three regions, he said.

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    Dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into an open-air concert by pop group "Seventeen" -- hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience.

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    Images of the aftermath of the tsunami in coastal areas show a trail of uprooted trees and debris strewn across beaches. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular day-tripping spot on the west coast of Java.

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    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.

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