The Indonesian Red Cross is providing emergency assistance and helping clean up after a series of tsunami waves struck Sunda Strait, which connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean at the tip of Sumatra and Java at 930pm on 22 December.

The powerful waves, with heights of 30 to 90cm, caused deaths, injuries and extensive damage on both sides of the strait. One of the worst affected areas was in Banten province on Java, where the disaster struck the seaside area of Pandeglang during peak holiday season when it was crowded with tourists.

As of the afternoon of 23 December local time, the death toll was 168, with, 745 people injured and 30 missing. A total of 558 houses, 9 hotels, dozens of houses, cars and boats were heavily damaged.

Casualties are expected to rise as assessments come in.

Ten volunteers from the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia, or PMI) in Pandeglang immediately went into action on Saturday night to carry out first aid.

On Sunday, 20 staff and volunteers are in action responding to people’s immediate needs, helping rescue survivors and recover bodies, and assessing the situation in coordination with government authorities.

The Red Cross has dispatched relief goods from its regional warehouse in Banten including water, tarpaulins, cleaning equipment (shovels, mattocks (axes), etc.), family kits and hygiene kits.

The Red Cross continues to respond and will provide further assistance based on the assessments currently under way.

To arrange interviews with IFRC or Indonesian Red Cross officials please contact:

In Indonesia:

Aulia Arriani, +62816795379,

Kathy Mueller, +62 821 1075 4506,

In Kuala Lumpur: Rosemarie North, +60 122 308 451,

In Geneva:

Laura Ngo-Fontaine, +41 79 570 44 18,