JAKARTA — Indonesian authorities scrambled to deal with two deadly disasters on Tuesday after a tsunami and volcanic eruptions struck in separate regions of the vast Indonesian archipelago.
In the first, rescue workers and fishermen scoured for survivors through waters west of Sumatra Island after a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami killed at least 113 people and left hundreds missing, including at least eight foreigners, officials said. Thousands more were homeless.
The tsunami, triggered by a 7.7-magnitude undersea quake, slammed into the remote Mentawai Islands late Monday, wreaking havoc in villages in the south of the island chain and, the authorities believe, sweeping scores out to sea. The Mentawai Islands are a popular destination for foreign surfers, particularly Australians.
The disaster recalled the series of tsunamis set off by a much more powerful earthquake in December 2004. Those waves killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries, but hit hardest in the northern Sumatran province of Aceh.
The Deadliest Tsunami in History?
January 7, 2005
The earthquake that generated the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Photo
Giant forces that had been building up deep in the Earth for hundreds of years were released suddenly on December 26, shaking the ground violently and unleashing a series of killer waves that sped across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner.
By the end of the day more than 150,000 people were dead or missing and millions more were homeless in 11 countries, making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history.