Philippines condoles with Indonesia after deadly tsunami

Paterno Esmaquel II
Philippines condoles with Indonesia after deadly tsunami
No Filipino is reported killed or injured in the Indonesia tsunami, says the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines sent its condolences to Indonesia on Sunday, December 23, after a tsunami killed at least 62 people and injured almost 600 in the Southeast Asian country.

In a statement Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said the Department of Foreign Affairs was monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of Filipinos in Indonesia.

“We offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the people of Indonesia who were hit by a tsunami around the Sunda Strait yesterday night. We particularly condole with the families of those who perished in this tragedy,” Panelo said.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs, through our Philippine embassy in Jakarta, continues to monitor the situation and remains in touch with the leaders of the Filipino community in Indonesia to oversee the condition of our citizens residing there and make sure all are safe and accounted for,” he added.

The DFA said that, so far, none of the 220 Filipinos in the area had been reported killed or injured. Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee said this is based on a report by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority.

The Philippine embassy in Indonesia “was also able to communicate with a member of the Filipino community in Banten, who said that the tide did not hit their area,” said the DFA.

Dozens of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit beaches in South Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9:30 pm local time (1430 GMT) on Saturday, December 22, Nugroho said in an earlier statement.

Authorities said the tsunami may have been triggered by an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the archipelago. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.