World Vision races to disaster zone after hundreds die in Indonesian tsunami

World Vision has dispatched an emergency response team to Sunda Strait to assess the damage following a tsunami that has killed at least 222 people and injured more than 843. 

The three-metre tsunami struck the West Java and Sumatra coastline on Saturday night local time. The tsunami is believed to have been caused by underwater landslides triggered by a volcanic eruption at Mount Krakatoa.  
"This is a devastating and deadly tragedy. We are desperately concerned for the lives of those injured and missing, and for the hundreds of families who have lost loved ones,” World Vision Acting Humanitarian Emergency Affairs staffer, Bevita Dwi, said. 
“Hundreds of homes and other buildings have been destroyed, forcing thousands of people to flee for their lives. Children are likely to bear the brunt of this crisis. World Vision staff will be on the ground today ready to assess the extent of the damage, and offer life-saving help as needed."  
It’s feared the death toll will rise further.   
World Vision is working closely with local partner organisation, Wahana Visi Indonesia, to determine what kind of support is needed, including additional support from international aid organisations.  
A WV Indonesia staff member happened to be in the area on holiday at the time of the tsunami.   
"I was actually at a restaurant on the beach right before the tsunami hit. I noticed the level of the sea was higher and there was lots of garbage in the water. Then I heard the ocean rumbling and felt an odd vibration,” health specialist, Dr Natasya Phebe said.  
“We decided to leave and then 10 minutes later the tsunami hit and now that restaurant is gone. People are here for Christmas vacation, so many of the injured and deceased are tourists. We are seeing lots of multiple trauma injuries, and head trauma." 
Indonesia has already experienced three major natural disasters in the last four months - including the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami that killed over 2,100 people in September. 
“This is a crisis on top of a crisis for Indonesia. It’s another blow for Indonesia, which has already been dealing with two major emergencies recently – the Lombok earthquake and the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami,” World Vision Australia chief advocate Tim Costello said. 
“We desperately hope that this tsunami is not nearly as devastating as what we have seen in recent months in Indonesia.” 
World Vision has spokespeople available for comment. 
Contact Brianna Piazza, Emergencies Communications Officer, 0408 624 934,  

PICTURE:  Only three months ago parts of Sulawesi were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami, claiming thousands of lives.  The tsunami on Saturday night is a crisis on top of a crisis.

Back to all Results