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Jakarta Post

Trump, Putin send condolences as tsunami death toll continues to climb

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 24, 2018   /   10:34 am
Trump, Putin send condolences as tsunami death toll continues to climb Instruments of pop band Seventeen lay among the ruins of an outdoor stage at Tanjung Lesung Resort on Sunday in Pandeglang, Banten. The band was playing before an audience of hundreds on Saturday evening when the waves crashed through the stage and those gathered at the venue. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

World leaders have sent their condolences to Indonesia after a tsunami hit the coasts of Lampung and Banten on Saturday evening. 

"Unthinkable devastation from the tsunami disaster in Indonesia. More than two hundred dead and nearly a thousand injured or unaccounted for. We are praying for recovery and healing. America is with you!" US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

Meanwhile from South Asia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on Twitter: "Saddened by the loss of lives and destruction in Indonesia caused by the tsunami after the eruption of a volcano. Condolences to the bereaved families and wishing the injured an early recovery. India is ready to assist our maritime neighbor and friend in relief work."

The Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also sent his well wishes.

"In the name of the Turkish people, I hereby express our condolences to all the people of Indonesia," Erdogan said in Istanbul, during the Financial General Assembly 2018 of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK).

In a statement from the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his "deepest sympathy" to those affected by the disaster.

"Russia shares the grief of the friendly people of Indonesia. Please pass on my words of sincere sympathy and support to the victims’ families and friends and wishes for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured as a result of the disaster,” he said in the statement.

An SAR personnel tends to the recovered bodies of tsunami victims at Puskesmas Carita (community health center) on Sunday in Pandeglang regency, Banten. An SAR personnel tends to the recovered bodies of tsunami victims at Puskesmas Carita (community health center) on Sunday in Pandeglang regency, Banten. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løekke also sent his condolences via Twitter: "I send my deepest condolences to President Jokowi and the many affected by the volcanic activity and tsunami – our thoughts are with the people of Indonesia that have endured so much."

By Monday morning, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) had recorded 281 dead, 1,016 injured and 57 missing. Many of those killed were tourists, thought to be visiting the popular beach resort area over the long weekend before the Christmas holiday. The tsunami has damaged at least 611 homes, 69 hotels and villas, 60 shops and 420 boats.

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that many victims were trapped under collapsed buildings, and that heavy machinery would be required to help with search and rescue efforts.

"Heavy machinery has not been deployed to all of the affected areas, especially Pandeglang [in Banten] and South Lampung [in Lampung]," he said, adding that more heavy machinery would be sent to the areas on Monday morning.

Among the fatal victims are Dinda Esta Juzar and Adel Hidayat, the wife and son of former The Jakarta Post photographer Arief Hidayat. (evi)