The Government of Canada urges Canadian travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to the areas where a catastrophic tsunami struck on Saturday, December 22nd, killing at least 430 people over the weekend. The tsunami was triggered by an undersea landslide after the Anak Krakatau volcano erupted. Today, Indonesian authorities increased the risk level from a 3 to a 4, and warn that another tsunami could strike.
According to the travel advisory, Canadians should avoid the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra. Locals are warned to stay at least 1 kilometre away from the coast. According to the Star, the area is still being plagued by stormy conditions and menacing waves.
The public was completely unprepared for Saturday's tsunami, which reportedly struck without any warning signs. The island was enjoying their holiday weekend - beaches and resorts were crowded with locals and tourists.
The death toll, according to Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency, is currently 430. More than 1,400 are injured and 154 are still missing. Rescue and relief aid is desperately needed - authorities worry that people remain trapped under rubble. Over 21,000 people have reportedly been displaced from their homes as a result of the disaster.
On Sunday, Global Affairs Canada revealed that they were not aware of any Canadians affected by Saturday's disaster in Indonesia. "Consular officials are in contact with local authorities and stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens if needed," a Global Affairs spokesperson told Global News.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said that the Canadian government "is ready to offer assistance if needed." But, according to the Minister of International Development, Canada cannot offer assistance until an "international call by the host government" is issued. So far, the Indonesian government has not issued an international call for help.
A very shocking and tragic situation in Indonesia - today we send condolences to everyone affected by the tsunami that caused so much devastation on the Sunda Strait. Canadians’ thoughts are with you & our government is ready to offer assistance if needed.
The Embassy of Canada is offering emergency consular assistance to Canadian travellers in the region. The advisory also says that Canadians should follow the instructions of local authorities, comply with evacuation orders in place and monitor the local media to stay on top of the current situation.