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Indonesia on alert as death toll from devastating tsunami rises | Indonesia News

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Rescue workers are stepping up efforts to reach many areas devastated by a deadly tsunami that hit an Indonesian strait almost without warning in the darkness, smashing into houses, hotels and other buildings.

As doctors worked to help survivors and hundreds of people searched on debris-strewn beaches along the Sunda Strait for more victims, Indonesian officials said on Monday morning that the death toll had risen to at least 281, with more than 1,016 injured.

Dozens are missing from the disaster areas along the coastlines of western Java and southern Sumatra islands.

The numbers could increase once authorities hear from all stricken areas.

The waves that swept terrified people into the sea on Saturday night followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island that emerged from the sea in the 1920s.





 

Government and non-government aid trickled in to Pandeglang, the worst-affected area on Java’s west coast. In Lampung, in southern Sumatra, dozens of people have been reported dead.

Authorities have warned residents and tourists in coastal areas around the Sunda Strait to stay away from beaches, with a high-tide warning in place until Tuesday.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas, reporting from Pantai Tumaritis, on the western coast of Java, said officials were wary about a possible reoccurrence.

“All Monday morning, there has been a low rumbling noise that occasionally peaks from the volcano some 47km out to sea directly from where we are,” he said, reporting from a hotel where two young children were found dead.

“With audio evidence that the volcano is continuing to erupt – it has been erupting on and off for months now, and Saturday’s wasn’t a particularly big one – there is a very real concern that there could be further tsunamis.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his sympathy and ordered government agencies to respond quickly to the disaster.

“My deep condolences to the victims in Banten and Lampung provinces,” he said. “Hopefully, those who are left have patience.”





An injured boy is carried by a police officer after evacuating from a hotel that collapsed due to the tsunami at Carita in Pandeglang, Banten province  [ Courtesy of Banten Police Headquarters/Handout via Reuters]

‘Completely obliterated’

Search and rescue officials used their bare hands and some heavy machinery to clear the remains of buildings on Monday, while the Indonesian Medical Association said it is sending more doctors and medical equipment to treat those injured, with many being in need of orthopedic and neurosurgery expertise.

Most patients are domestic tourists who were visiting the beach during the long holiday weekend, but foreigners were visiting the area ahead of Christmas as well.

Many coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as an earthquake, on Saturday night before a first, small wave washed ashore.

“What people here told us is that there was an initial wave that covered their feet, that kind of splashed over the sea walls, and about four-five minutes later the big one came,” said Thomas.

“Along this coastline, it’s so flat, there really is nowhere for people to run inland – and that was the trouble on Saturday night,” he added.

“There are wooden shacks up and down this coast that have been completely obliterated.”

Yuni, a resident of Lampung in Sumatra, was watching television at home when she heard the water coming.

“I heard a rumbling sound and I thought it was the wind. After I opened the door, water came in quickly and dragged me out. When I saw outside, the sea was receding. I decided to run and go as the water came again for the second time,” she said.





A resident affected by the tsunami stands next to debris in Carita beach [Jorge Silva/Reuters]

The widespread damage became apparent after daybreak on Sunday. Nine hotels and hundreds of homes were heavily damaged by the waves.

Broken chunks of concrete and splintered sticks of wood littered hard-hit coastal areas, turning beach getaways popular with Jakarta residents into near ghost towns. Debris from thatch-bamboo shacks was strewn along beaches.

Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.

Dramatic TV footage showed how the tsunami washed away an outdoor stage where Indonesian rock band Seventeen was performing for hundreds of guests at an end-of-year party for state utility company PLN.

At least four band members and support crew were killed, the group’s lead singer told followers in a tearful Instagram account. The band’s drummer was among the missing. Another 29 PLN employees and relatives were also killed.





A plume of ash rises as Anak Krakatau erupts in Indonesia [Susi Air/via Reuters]

‘Ring of fire’ 

Scientists, including those from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency, said the tsunami could have been caused by landslides – either above ground or under water – on the steep slope of the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano. The scientists also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

The 305-metre-high Anak Krakatau, whose name means “Child of Krakatoa”, lies on an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, linking the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea. It has been erupting since June and did so again about 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said.

The volcanic island formed over years after the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, one of the largest, most devastating in recorded history. That disaster killed more than 30,000 people, launched far-reaching tsunamis and created so much ash that day was turned to night in the area and a global temperature drop was recorded.

Most of the island sank into a volcanic crater under the sea, and the area remained calm until the 1920s, when Anak Krakatau began to rise from the site. It continues to grow each year and erupts periodically.

Gegar Prasetya, co-founder of the Tsunami Research Center Indonesia, said Saturday’s tsunami was likely caused by a flank collapse – when a big section of a volcano’s slope gives way. It’s possible for an eruption to trigger a landslide above ground or beneath the ocean, both capable of producing waves, he said.

“Actually, the tsunami was not really big, only one metre,” said Prasetya, who has studied Krakatoa. “The problem is people always tend to build everything close to the shoreline.”





Tsunami survivors gather at temporary shelter in Tanjung Lesung [Achmad Ibrahim/The Associated Press]

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. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

A powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people in August. And the tsunami and earthquake that hit the islands of Sulawesi in September killed more than 2,100 people, and thousands more are believed buried in neighbourhoods swallowed by a quake phenomenon known as liquefaction.

It was the second deadly tsunami to hit Indonesia this year, but the one that struck the island of Sulawesi on September 28 was accompanied by a powerful earthquake that gave residents a brief warning before the waves struck.

Saturday’s tsunami also rekindled memories of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia on December 26, 2004. It spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries – the majority in Indonesia.

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Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

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Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat

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In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

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Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic

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TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

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