Indonesia tsunami: Singapore leaders express condolences

Indonesia tsunami: Singapore leaders express condolences

No Singaporeans are reported to have been affected by the Indonesia tsunami. However, the Meteorological Service Singapore has cautioned that Singapore could be hit by ash from Anak Krakatau, if volcanic activity increases or the wind direction changes. Eugenia Lim reports.

SINGAPORE: Singapore leaders on Sunday (Dec 23) expressed their condolences after a tsunami struck coastal areas around the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia on Saturday night.

At least 200 people have died and hundreds more have been injured, according to Indonesian authorities. 

READ: Indonesia 'volcano' tsunami: What might have caused it?

President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote letters of condolence to Indonesia's President Joko Widodo.

In her letter to the president, Mdm Halimah wrote that she was "deeply saddened" to hear of the incident.

"Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the tsunami which struck Banten and Lampung provinces on Dec 22, 2018," wrote Mdm Halimah. 

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of lives, injuries and destruction," she said. "The people of Singapore stand in solidarity with those affected by this tragedy."

"Our thoughts are with the people of Indonesia during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to let us know if Singapore can be of any assistance."

Also writing to the president, Mr Lee extended his "deepest condolences" to the families and loved ones of those affected by the "unfortunate tragedy", on behalf of the government.

READ: Indonesia 'volcano' tsunami: What might have caused it?

READ: Indonesia tsunami: Wave crashes into local pop band Seventeen's performance

"I am confident that the people of Indonesia will overcome this disaster with strength and solidarity," he said. "Singapore stands ready to support the ongoing relief efforts, if required by Indonesia."

In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said there were currently no reports of Singaporeans affected by the tsunami.

"As the ground situation is still developing, the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta and the Singapore Consulate-General in Medan are in touch with the respective local authorities and monitoring the situation closely," said MFA.

It advised Singaporeans in the affected areas to monitor the local news closely and heed instructions of local authorities.

"Singaporeans are also advised to stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe," said MFA.

NO REPORTS OF FLIGHTS AFFECTED BY ERUPTION SO FAR: MSS

Separately, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said that there have been no reports of flights being affected due to the eruption of Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano so far.

However, any significant increase in volcanic activity and change in wind direction could affect flight operations in the region, it said.

Located about 850km south of Singapore, the volcano - which has been increasingly active since June - is seen as a likely cause of the deadly tsunami.

Volcanic activity from the Anak Krakatau could have triggered an underwater landslide that led to an abnormal tidal surge and the resulting tsunami, Indonesia's national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Sunday.

In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries on Sunday, MSS said that its atmospheric dispersion modelling showed that the ash from the volcano is expected to be blown to the southwest toward the Indian Ocean, away from Singapore. 

"There have been no reports of flights being affected due to the eruption so far," added MSS. "However, any significant increase in volcanic activity and change in the wind direction could blow some ash to Singapore or affect flight operations in the region."

Singaporeans in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, the Singapore Consulate-General in Medan or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:

Singapore Embassy in Jakarta
Tel: +62-(21) 2995-0400 / +62-811 863-348
Email: singemb_jkt@mfa.sg

Singapore Consulate General in Medan
Tel: +62-61-8050 1500
Email: sporeconsulatemedan@mfa.sg

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tel: +65 6379 8800/8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

Source: CNA/nc

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