Foreign Minister sends condolences to Indonesia after tsunami

Aftermath of the Indonesian tsunami following a volcanic eruption which has killed over 200 people at the latest figures.
Aftermath of the Indonesian tsunami following a volcanic eruption which has killed over 200 people at the latest figures. Source: EPA/SCANPIX

Foreign minister Sven Mikser (SDE) has offered his condolences to his Indonesian counterpart Ms Retno Marsudi following the tsunami to hit the Sunda Strait region of that country on Saturday night.

''My thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims and everyone affected by this natural disaster, and I wish for a speedy recovery of those injured. On behalf of the Estonian Government and people, allow me to express deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Indonesia,'' said Mr Mikser, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

Additionally, the foreign ministry advises Estonian citizens currently in Indonesia to follow the orders of local authorities and to make contact with family members in Estonia if they have not already done so.

Conversely, those Estonia citizens with concerns about family members in Indonesia are advised to call the ministry on the 24-hour hotline at +372 5301 9999.

Not without precedent

The death toll in the aftermath of an eruption of Mount Krakatoa, a volcanic island lying in the Sunda Strait which separates the principal Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, has already broken the 200 mark and is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.

The famous August 1883 eruption of Krakatoa saw the bulk of the island blown completely away, and a death toll of close to 40,000 from the eruption and ensuing tsunamis and other after-effects, in one of the largest volcanic events in history. The latest eruption in fact came from a smaller island, Anak Krakatoa, which first emerged in the area of the volcanic caldera in 1927 and has continued to grow ever since.

Seismic effects of the 1883 event were still felt the following February, and volcanic ash released had a significant effect on the global climate the following year. The force of the main explosion, which could be reportedly audible up to 5,000 km away, has been estimated at 200 megatons of TNT, about four times that of the most powerful thermonuclear weapon detonation ever produced, the Soviet Tsar Bomba of 1961.

The eruption is also in the vicinity of the epicentre of the Indian Ocean earthquake which, almost 14 years to the day, triggered a series of tsunamis which killed an estimated quarter of a million people in 14 countries.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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