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Oxfam ready to respond as hundreds killed after tsunami in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait

Monday, December 24, 2018
Photo credit: Getty Images

Oxfam is getting ready to respond to tsunami-affected communities in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, with reports that more than 200 people have died and hundreds more injured following a tsunami that struck islands in the Strait last saturday.

Coastal communities in small islands in the Sundra Strait are believed to be among the worst hit from the tsunami, with Indonesia’s national disaster management authority claiming underwater landslides triggered by a volcanic eruption from Mt Krakatoa may have caused the waves.

Oxfam Australia’s Humanitarian Manager Meg Quartermaine said Oxfam and its partners were coordinating with Indonesian authorities and other humanitarian agencies in order to assess the need in the Sunda Strait.

“Almost three months after a large 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, causing devastating rapid onset tsunami waves, communities in Indonesia are again waking up to the news of another deadly tsunami,” Ms Quartermaine said.

“The tsunami which occurred overnight in the Sunda Strait has reportedly killed more than 200 people, and injured hundreds more.

“Authorities expect this number will increase, and so an Oxfam assessment team are on the Strait gathering more information about what has happened and what we can do. We know affected communities will need food and access to clean water.

“Oxfam is planning assesments to help to understand the scale of the disaster and to determine what sort of response may be required, if requested.”

Ms Quartermaine said Oxfam, through its partner organisations, was well placed to be able to mobilise quickly in the aftermath of the second tsunami in the region in the past three months.

“Oxfam, through its partner organisations and relief efforts, has now reached more than 100,000 people in Sulawesi with aid and services, including the distribution of more than 17,000 hygiene kits, the construction of dozens of toilets, water pipelines and water distribution points,” she said.

Contact information: 

For interviews with in-country spokespersons or more information, please contact Renee Thompson on 0418 873 782 or reneet@oxfam.org.au