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Alert Level Raised and Flights Rerouted as Anak Krakatau’s Eruptions Intensify

Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management raised the warning level for Anak Krakatau to 3, the second-highest rank. They have also widened the exclusion zone and rerouted flights, as eruptions again intensified from the island volcano that triggered a deadly tsunami at the weekend.

Indonesia’s air traffic control agency, AirNav, said several flights had their paths rerouted on Wednesday and Thursday due to a “red alert” for volcanic ash.

Authorities have also warned people to stay a kilometre away from the shore in case another wave hits, and have declared a state of emergency until Jan. 4 to make it easier to deploy assistance to affected areas.

Thousands of people have been removed from islands in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra over fears of further tsunamis.

Saturday’s tsunami was triggered by a volcanic eruption that caused a 64-hectare chunk of Anak Krakatau to slide into the ocean. The eruption came at high tide during a full moon, with the Sunda Strait also experiencing a spell of high rainfall, government and rescue agencies said.

Another 159 people remain missing, with little realistic hope they will be found alive. Nearly 1,500 people were injured and nearly 22,000 have been evacuated away from the coast and to higher ground, authorities say.

The rain is also hampering search and rescue efforts, while blocked and clogged roads forced search and rescue teams to use helicopters to assess damage, search for bodies and evacuate people around the village of Sumur near the southwestern tip of Java.

Donate: Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders

Source: Washington Post

Photo: Fauzy Chaniago/AP

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