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Tsunami Again

18 July, 2006 | Written by Patchay at 10:23 PM in

The Java Tsunami

A 2m-high tsunami crashed into beach resorts and fishing villages of Pangandaran, south coast of Java island Monday, killing at least 315 people (including foreign tourists) and leaving more than 160 missing after no warning alerts were issued. Many hundreds more were injured and treated in local hospitals.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake triggered the killer wave, and it was the worst after the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami.

Thousands of homes were flattened and bodies were seen under piles of debris. Thousands of people also fled their homes, either because they were destroyed or in fear of another tsunami.

It was reported that frantic tourists and villagers shouted "Tsunami! Tsunami!" as the wave more than 6 feet high approached. Some climbed trees or fled to higher ground to escape while others crowded into inland mosques to pray.

The warning system installed by the Indonesian government after the 2004 tsunami was not effective as it is still in the preliminary stages, covering only certain parts of Sumatera island.

Just seven weeks ago, Java island was hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 5,800 people. Thereafter, the nation was frequently rattled by series of aftershocks. The reason for these quakes is because Indonesia sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire"," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

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