Indonesian tsunami rescuers work as volcanic activity continues

Emergency crews on Wednesday rescued stranded residents from Indonesia's remote islands and pushed into isolated communities following a deadly tsunami in the Sunda Strait, triggered by volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau last week.

As stormy weather hindered emergency crews, authorities warned that another tsunami could be triggered by fresh volcanic activity.

Residents were advised to stay indoors to avoid "ash and sand" being blown by the wind.

They were advised to wear masks and goggles for protection, and to stay up to a kilometer (less than a mile) from the coast.

Read more: Indonesia tsunami rescuers search for victims amid debris

Rising fatalities

Some residents did return to what was left of their homes as heavy rain fell and waves pounded the shore.

The disaster agency raised the death toll to 430, with 1,495 people injured and another 159 missing. Nearly 22,000 people have been evacuated to higher ground.

"There's a chance the number of fatalities will rise," said an agency spokesman.

Failed tsunami detection

Saturday's event triggered flashbacks for some who survived a disaster that struck in 2004 off the northwestern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island.

An enormous magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit the area the morning after Christmas, creating gigantic waves that surged far inland killing some 230,000 people.

"When it happens, I always remember what we have been through," said Qurnaty who lost her home and several family members to the 2004 waves.

The country's system of tsunami detection buoys — deployed after the 2004 disaster — has not worked since 2012, with some units being stolen or vandalized.

kw/jm (AP, AFP)

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