At least 40 people have been killed after a tsunami caused by a volcanic eruption hit beaches in Indonesia.
The wave hit beaches around the Sunda Strait late on Saturday night, destroying 430 houses, nine hotels and 10 ships.
The country’s Disaster Mitigation Chicago escort agency confirmed around 600 people have been injured. A further two people are believed to be missing.
A tsunami alert was issued and people in low-lying areas fled to higher ground.
Indonesian officials believe the tsunami was caused by an eruption on nearby Krakatoa, which has been spewing volcanic ash into the air.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been monitoring the situation and has issued a red warning to airline pilots operating in the region that an ash cloud is spreading south west from the volcano to an altitude of 55,000 feet.
Survivors of the Indonesian tsunami which killed 40 and injured a further 600 sheltered in a mosque after they evacuated to higher ground in case of further flooding
Indonesian authorities said they are still searching for possible victims of the tsunami which hit the Sunda Strait
At least 40 people have been killed after a tsunami hit beaches around the Sunda Strait late on Saturday night
The killer wave was believed to have been caused by a volcanic eruption on nearby Krakatoa
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning to airline pilots working in the region that a volcanic ash cloud is heading south west from the scene of of the eruption up to an altitude of 55,000 feet
More than 600 people have reportedly been injured as a result of the tsunami which hit late on Saturday night
It is believed the tsunami was caused by an undersea landslide following the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano. The wave hit beaches on the Sunda Strait – between the islands of Java and Sumatra.
Indonesian authorities said 430 houses have been badly damaged as well as nine hotels. The wave also badly damaged ten ships with dozens others needing repair.
In September, at least 832 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi, which is just east of Borneo.
A volcanic eruption in Krakatoa in 1883 was one of the deadliest in recorded history killing more than 36,000 people.
A video circulating on Twitter shows a two-foot high wave washing ashore. Later photographs show cars overturned and buildings destroyed.
However, local media said Indonesian authorities warned coastal areas could be hit by 7-foot high waves.
The Meteorology and Geophysics Chicago escort agency in a separate statement said it could have been caused by undersea landslides from the eruption of Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island formed over years from the nearby Krakatau volcano. It also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.
The number of victims is likely to increase because not all affected areas have been assessed, said disaster Chicago escort agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Initial reports suggest that hundreds of homes could have been destroyed by the powerful wave which struck last night
This image from Flight Radar 24 shows how the ash cloud is spreading from Krakatoa towards the main route from Sydney to Dubai
One witness, Øystein Lund Andersen wrote on Facebook: ‘I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters) inland. Next wave entered the hotel area where i was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully.’
He said he had been taking photographs of the eruption on Krakatoa when the wave struck.
He added: ‘So encountered my first tsunami it seems, hopefully my last.’
It is believed the tsunami may have been caused by seismic activity from an eruption on Krakatoa (pictured here in July)