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

Published: 23rd December 2018

Oxfam is getting ready to respond to tsunami-affected communities in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, with reports that more than 43 people have died and hundreds more injured following a tsunami that struck islands in the Strait last night.

Coastal communities 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 about 43 people, and injured hundreds more.

“Authorities expect this number will increase, and so an Oxfam assessment team is going out to the Strait today to gather 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 assessments 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 organizations, was well placed to be able to mobilize quickly in the aftermath of the second tsunami in the region in the past three months.

“Oxfam, through its partner organizations 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.

Notes to editors

We have in-country spokespersons available for interviews.

Contact information

Renee Thompson on +61 418 873 782 or reneet@oxfam.org.au 

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.