On Dec. 26 in 2004, an Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia. The eruption of Krakatau in 1883 killed more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis.
Endan Permana, head of the disaster mitigation agency in Pandeglang, told Metro TV police were providing assistance to victims in Tanjung Lesung in Banten province, a popular tourist getaway not far from the capital, Jakarta, as emergency workers had not arrived.
The western coast of Banten province in Java was the worst-hit area so far, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency.
At least seven people were reported dead in Lampung in southern Sumatra.
Rescue workers and ambulances were finding it difficult to reach affected areas because some roads were blocked by debris, said Ketut Sukerta, head of the disaster agency in South Lampung.
Around 250 employees of the state utility company PLN had gathered in Tanjung Lesung for an end-of-year event, company spokesman I Made Suprateka told Reuters. At least seven people were killed and many suffered broken bones, he said.
Dramatic TV footage showed the seconds when waves hit a concert at the event and washed away the stage where local rock band Seventeen was performing.
“The water washed away the stage which was located very close to the sea,” the band said in a statement. “The water rose and dragged away everyone at the location. We have lost loved ones, including our bassist and manager…and others are missing.”