Red Cross ambulance teams help a woman on a stretcher after the Indonesia tsunami

For the second time in three months, a deadly tsunami has hit Indonesia.

After dark on 22 December, a tsunami wave ploughed into the Indonesian island of Java.

At least 222 people have been killed. More than 840 are injured and 28 are missing. Sadly, these numbers are expected to rise.

Banten on Java was one of the worst affected areas and its seaside district of Pandeglang was crowded with holiday tourists when the tsunami hit.

Over 550 houses, 350 boats and nine hotels were badly damaged.

Second Indonesia tsunami in three months

A damaged building is surrounded by wreckage after the Indonesia tsunami

This latest disaster comes on top of the serious earthquake and tsunami in September, where over 2,000 people were killed.

Whole villages were lost and 206,000 people were forced to leave their damaged or destroyed homes.

A series of violent earthquakes also flattened communities in Lombok, Indonesia over a three-week period in August.

“Powerful and destructive waves have once again caused deaths, injuries and extensive damage in Indonesia,” said Alex Carle, director of programmes and partnerships at the British Red Cross.

“Yesterday’s tsunami is another devastating blow to a country that is still responding to, and recovering from, the tsunami that ripped through Sulawesi under 90 days ago.”

Red Cross rescues survivors

Red Cross volunteers help an elderly woman walk down stairs after the Indonesia tsunami

The Indonesian Red Cross started helping immediately.

Over 70 staff and volunteers are helping to rescue trapped survivors and recover the bodies of those killed by the wave and debris.

Fourteen trucks full of fresh drinking water set off to support people in the worst affected areas where sources of clean water were destroyed.

Medical teams from 22 Red Cross ambulances are helping those injured and taking people to hospitals.

Tarpaulins, and shovels and axes to clear the wreckage have already been sent to the area.

The Red Cross is also giving out giving out essential hygiene, cooking and cleaning supplies to people who have lost or cannot return to their homes.

These include important basics such as soap. Washing hands is vital for good hygiene that helps stop the spread of contagious disease after a disaster.

They are also working with the Indonesian government to decide on the best ways to help.

“The Indonesia Red Cross was on the ground in the immediate aftermath. They are helping to rescue survivors, providing first aid and recovering bodies,” Alex Carle said.

“They are continuing to provide humanitarian assistance as the full scale of the tragedy becomes clear.”

Support the Indonesia tsunami appeal

Debris and parts of damaged or destroyed buildings lie strewn across the ground after the Indonesia tsunami

The Red Cross has worked in this part of Indonesia for many years and has over 1,000 staff and volunteers ready to help when needed.

The British Red Cross is urging people to donate to our Disaster Fund. Your contributions will help us act immediately to provide medical assistance, shelter, food and water for communities who caught up in crises around the world.

Please give generously.


All pictures © Palang Merah Indonesia/PMI/Indonesian Red Cross