Tsunami toll now 429 dead, thousands homeless

Earthquake of magnitude 4.8 hits Indonesia

An eruption at the Anak Krakatau volcano between the islands of Java and Sumatra is still spewing columns of ash into the air.

Authorities have raised the volcano's alert level to the second-highest on Thursday, imposing a 5-km exclusion zone.

It earlier appeared to be calming down following Saturday's eruption, which caused a 3-meter (10 foot) high tsunami to sweep through the Sunda Strait, killing more than 430 people and displacing tens of thousands.

As per the latest reports, the death toll due to the volcano-triggered quake in Indonesia stood at 429, with 1,485 people injured and another 154 still missing.

"We keep monitoring the tremor activities of Mt Anak Krakatoa, particularly under [current] extreme weather and high waves because such conditions can potentially cause the collapse of the volcano's flank, going down to the sea, and trigger a tsunami", Dwikorita Karnawati, chief of the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, told a press conference just before midnight on Tuesday.

Multiple tsunamis have struck the country since - including Saturday's, which came without warning, increasing the death toll and devastation.

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"We could be rolled to the sea by the waves if we're not alert and careful", he said.

Indonesia's meteorology agency said late on December 25 the rough weather around the volcano could make its crater more fragile.

But asked if Indonesia would accept it, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency replied: "No".

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Indonesia is mostly Muslim with Christians, Hindus and other religions as well.

It was a sharp contrast to the disaster that struck 14 years ago off the western coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island.

Christmas celebrations traditionally filled with laughter and uplifting music were replaced by somber prayers for tsunami victims in an area hit without warning, leaving more than 420 people dead and thousands more homeless in disaster-prone Indonesia.

"You know, people call Indonesia a supermarket for disasters - really you have everything here, and you have it quite a lot", she said.

Indonesian authorities asked people to avoid the coast in areas where a tsunami killed more than 420 people last weekend in a fresh warning issued on the anniversary of the catastrophic 2004 Asian natural disaster and tsunami.

The government has warned communities in the strait to stay 6/10 of a mile away from the coastline because of the risk of another tsunami triggered by Krakatau's eruptions.

"The challenge now is to interpret what might be happening on the volcano, and what might happen next", he said. The giant wall of water killed some 230,000 people in a dozen countries, majority in Indonesia.

Torrential rain has complicated recovery and aid efforts, muddying roads and holding up convoys delivering heavy machinery and food to remote areas.

Indonesia hasn't had a functional tsunami warning system since 2012, as vandalism, technical faults and funding shortfalls have stymied disaster preparedness.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

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