Indonesia widened the danger zone and raised the threat level on Thursday as an island volcano continued to seethe after triggering a tsunami that killed more than 430 people.Officials issued a level three tsunami alert — the second highest on its four-level system — and rerouted flights as emergency crews still searched for victims from last weekend's unexpected wave.Anak Krakatau's eruption on Saturday evening caused part of the island in the Sunda Strait to collapse into the sea, apparently generating tsunami waves of more than 6 1/2 feet.
The country's disaster mitigation center doubled the at-risk area to a 3,200-foot stretch area of the coast on Thursday and warned people to stay away from the water's edge because of the risk of another tsunami triggered by Krakatau's ongoing eruptions.Aircraft were forced to take alternate routes to avoid the increasing volcanic ash mushrooming up from Anak Krakatau, said Yohanes Sirait, spokesman for AirNav Indonesia. Most scheduled flights through the capital of Jakarta have not been affected.Although ash billowed more than 6 miles into the skies, airports integral to the distribution of aid and resources to areas affected by the tsunami were not forced to close.
In Cilegon, a coastal city west of the capital on the island of Java, the cloud of ash and sand rained down, coating parked cars and streets with a thin layer of dust. People were warned to stay indoors and those who had to be outside were urged to wear masks and goggles, Indonesia's disaster mitigation center said.Ships and recreational vessels in the Sunda Strait were warned to keep a safe distance from the island of Krakatau and to be prepared for extreme conditions.A tsunami hit the coast Saturday after a 64-hectare section of rock from the Anak Krakatau's southwest side collapsed into the ocean. The shock, equivalent to a 3.4-magnitude earthquake, triggered the wave that hit land 24 minutes later. Saturday's disaster struck without warning, taking people by surprise in a country that regularly suffers landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. No big earthquake shook the ground beforehand, and the waves surged inland at night on a holiday weekend while people were enjoying concerts and other beach and resort activities.News
The volcano has been spewing ash and lava for months.There is no warning system in place for volcano-triggered tsunamis. Existing systems are based on monitoring earthquakes, which officials have said account for 90 percent of tsunamis in the region.Dozens remain missing from Saturday's disaster and thousands have been displaced. A state of emergency remains in effect until Jan. 4 to help distribute aid.