Indonesia tsunami: Death toll rises to more than 400 as young boy pulled from wreckage after 12 hours trapped

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Indonesia tsunami: Death toll rises to more than 400 as young boy pulled from wreckage after 12 hours trapped

Thousands left homeless as islands of Java and Sumatra reel from natural disaster

 

The death toll following a tsunami that hit Indonesia has risen to more than 400, as a five-year-old boy was pulled from the rubble after being buried alive for 12 hours.

Official estimates for the number of people killed in the natural disaster has reached 429, with thousands of people left homeless.

The latest revisions to the number of victims were made after a child, named only as Ali, was rescued after being trapped for 12 hours in a car which had fallen under several trees.

Officers removed the rubble from the car caused after the tsunami hit the islands of Java and Sumatra on Saturday evening following a volcanic eruption.

Footage of the moment Ali was rescued, shared widely online, shows the child clinging to the officer who saved him.

?It is not yet clear if those Ali was with, or members of his family, survived the natural disaster.

More than 1,400 people were injured and at least 128 are still missing after the tsunami, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said.

He said more than 16,000 people were displaced and that there was an urgent need for heavy equipment in the Sumur subdistrict, a remote area near Ujung Kulon National Park that experienced heavy damage.

Some villages there have been cut off due to damaged roads and bridges, making it difficult to supply aid and reach people who may be injured or trapped.

He added that more than 600 homes, many hotels and vendor stalls and more than 400 boats and ships were damaged.

“It is suspected that some victims are still trapped under wreckage and materials washed away by the tsunami,” he said.

The disaster took place in the run up to Christmas and in Carita, a seaside town left reeling from the tsunami instead of holding festivities and exchanging presents, Pastor Rusman Anita Sitorus said during a tearful vigil at a mass in her small church.

“We were planning on holding a Christmas celebration every year, but this year is different due to the tsunami,” she said, as churchgoers lit candles and cried while praying.

The occurrence of the disaster during the Christmas season evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on 26 December 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Unlike most tsunamis, this time there was no large earthquake to warn people to run to higher ground before the waves arrived.

Instead, an eruption of the infamous volcanic island Anak Krakatau appears to have triggered a landslide on its slope, which then sent displaced seawater racing.

The islands of Java and Sumatra were both simultaneously hit as water surged inland from the Sunda Strait which divides them.

Residents have remained jittery and fearful of lingering near the coast and since the disaster in at least two separate areas, panicked residents ran towards higher ground because they believed another tsunami was coming.

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