At least 40 dead, 380 missing after Indonesia Quake
At least 40 people were killed and 380 others were left missing after 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra on Monday, Indonesian officials said Tuesday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake generated a "significant" tsunami. Although communication with remote areas was difficult, witnesses in west Sumatra reported seeing a 6-meter (18-foot) high wave. One representative said at least one village with a population of about 200 people was swept away, with only 40 people recovered.
The numbers were in flux because information was trickling in from remote parts of Indonesia, a country made up of myriad islands.
Tsunami hits Indonesia
The 7.5 magnitude quake hit 78 km west of South Pagai in the Mentawai islands late Monday and destroyed most buildings in the coastal village of Betu Monga, said Hardimansyah, an official with the regional branch of the Department of Fisheries.
"Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found. 160 are still missing, mostly women and children," he told Reuters by phone.
"We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold onto their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying."
Indonesia to evacuate thousands as volcano simmers
Authorities will evacuate more than 11,000 villagers living on the slopes of the Mount Merapi volcano near Yogyakarta on Java after the alert status for an eruption was raised to the highest level, officials said.
Indonesia's vulcanology and geological disaster mitigation center raised the volcano's alert status to the highest alert level Monday, agency head Surono told Reuters.
"We recommended evacuation for people living on the slopes, especially the southern, southeastern and eastern slopes," Surono said.
He added the mountain had already released twice as much energy in recent days than in recent eruptions.
When I read of a tsunami, following an earthquake, I always recall the scriptures:
"On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea" (Luke 21:25)
Just as Jesus warned, earthquakes would be noteworthy in these last days, and they certainly are.