A tsunami following a volcanic eruption killed at least 168 people when it slammed without warning into popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on Saturday night, cutting a swathe of destruction and triggering mass panic as it swept inland.
Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the wave, which hit the coast of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java about 9.30pm (local time) following the eruption of a volcano known as the “child” of the legendary Krakatoa, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Search and rescue teams were scouring rubble for survivors, with 168 confirmed dead, 745 people injured and 30 reported missing across three regions, he said.
A dramatic video posted on social media showed a wall of water suddenly crashing into an open-air concert by pop group “Seventeen” — hurling band members off the stage and then flooding into the audience.
In a tearful Instagram post, frontman Riefian Fajarsyah said the band's bassist and road manager had been killed.
Images of the aftermath of the tsunami in coastal areas show a trail of uprooted trees and debris strewn across beaches. A tangled mess of corrugated steel roofing, timber and rubble was dragged inland at Carita beach, a popular day-tripping spot on the west coast of Java.
Elsewhere it uprooted trees and left a trail of debris strewn across the ground.
Muhammad Bintang, who was at Carita beach when the wave hit, described a sudden surge of water that plunged the tourist spot into darkness.
“We arrived at 9pm for our holiday and suddenly the water came — it went dark, the electricity is off,” the 15-year-old told AFP.
“It's messy outside and we still cannot access the road.”
In Lampung province, on the other side of the strait, Lutfi Al Rasyid said he fled the beach in Kalianda city in fear for his life.
“I could not start my motorbike so I left it and I ran... I just prayed and ran as far as I could,” the 23-year-old told AFP.
Authorities say the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide following the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
“The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast,” Nugroho said, but added that Indonesia's geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.
He added that the death toll would likely increase.
Video footage posted to social media by Nugroho showed panicked residents clutching flashlights and fleeing for higher ground.
Indonesian authorities initially claimed the wave was not a tsunami, but instead a tidal surge and urged the public not to panic.
Nugroho later apologised for the mistake on Twitter, saying because there was no earthquake it had been difficult to ascertain the cause of the incident early on.
“If there is an initial error we're sorry,” he wrote.
The wave swamped parts of the coast around the Sunda Strait, but was most damaging in Pandeglang district, on Java's western tip, where at least 33 people died and 491 people were injured.
Three people died further north in Serang, while seven were killed in South Lampung, on Sumatra island.
Heavy equipment was being transported to badly-hit areas to help search for victims, Nugroho said, adding evacuation posts and public kitchens were being set up for evacuees.
Abu Salim, a member of the Tagana disaster volunteer group, said he helped evacuate victims in Banten province.
“We evacuated the victims who died and were injured, we took them to health clinics ... Most of them suffered from broken bones,” he said, adding he feared more were missing.
Although relatively rare, submarine volcanic eruptions can cause tsunamis due to the sudden displacement of water or slope failure, according to the International Tsunami Information Centre.
Anak Krakatoa is a small volcanic island that emerged from the ocean half a century after Krakatoa's deadly 1883 eruption which killed more than 36,000 people.
According to Indonesia's geological agency, Anak Krakatoa had been showing signs of heightened activity for days, spewing plumes of ash thousands of metres into the air.
The volcano erupted again just after 9pm on Saturday, the agency said.
An eruption just before 4pm on Saturday lasted around 13 minutes and sent plumes of ash soaring hundreds of meters into the sky.
Indonesia, one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth, straddles the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire', where tectonic plates collide and a large portion of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.
Most recently in the city of Palu on Sulawesi island a quake and tsunami killed thousands of people.
In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in western Indonesia killed 220,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.
Anak Krakatoa is one of 127 active volcanoes which run the length of the archipelago.
VALLETTA: A year after a car bomb killed Maltese anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, those who ordered the murder remain free while others continuing her work in the EU’s smallest state are branded traitors.
The windswept field where the mother-of-three’s burnt-out car ended up on Oct 16, 2017, has become a monument to her life.
Supporters of free speech like Tania Attard come to this isolated spot to place flowers under a banner calling for justice, fluttering alongside a Maltese flag.
“If the person responsible for this is established, perhaps then we can rest and see that justice is done,” Attard said.
“I’m sure they never realised that it would come this far, that it would ... turn into something so important and international.”
After her death an international consortium of journalists launched the Daphne Project, coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based organisation dedicated to continuing the work of killed or imprisoned journalists.
“They just thought they would eliminate her and then feel better but I don’t think that is the result at all, I think that it has backfired on them,” said Attard.
But while journalists abroad can continue her work, those in Malta calling for justice say they are branded traitors.
Caruana Galizia’s blog sought to expose scandals on the island of less than half-a-million people, from petrol smuggling to money laundering, offshore bank accounts to nepotism, implicating members of the government and organised crime.
It also launched highly personal attacks on Maltese politicians.
Journalist and blogger Manuel Delia says that he receives threats and insults in the street because of his work, including speaking to foreign journalists, just as Caruana Galizia did when she was alive.
“The more time passes the more we realise that democracy doesn’t really work well here, the rule of law does not prevail,” said Delia, who worked for years for the Nationalist party until it lost to Labour in 2013.
“Institutions are completely co-opted and possessed by the government, and the government is possessed by people who are motivated by their own power and personal profit.”
Supporters of Caruana Galizia hold a vigil on the 16th of every month, demanding justice. Meanwhile, officials regularly dispatch street cleaners to remove an impromptu memorial that keeps reappearing in Valletta’s historic centre.
The government of Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat eventually replied to repeated requests for comment with a statement saying Caruana Galizia’s murder was “an attack on our freedom of expression, which was unacceptable”.
“The Maltese government believes the Fourth Estate is essential in a democratic system... journalists in Malta currently engage in their work freely, without any interference by the state.”
Three men who allegedly carried out the car bombing have been arrested and are facing trial, but whoever ordered the killing remains free.
The political opposition to the Labour government consists of the Nationalist party, which was headed by Simon Busuttil until June last year.
He says that Caruana Galizia’s corruption investigations and accusations crossed party lines, although she more regularly skewered members of the Labour party.
“You know her last words [on her blog] were ‘the situation is desperate’ and I feel that today the situation is even more desperate,” Busuttil told AFP at his offices in Valletta.
“Because the people who ordered her killing are still at large and because the corruption stories that she revealed have still not been resolved and those corruption stories involve people who are actually running the country.”
He says Brussels should ensure the rule of law is applied in the island, which joined the European Union in 2004.
The murdered journalist’s sister Corinne says that the current criminal investigation is limited in scope, and that there should be an independent enquiry.
“They are not investigating whether Daphne’s life could have been saved, they are not investigating whether there was a possibility of state complicity, they are not investigating the possibility of state neglect and they are certainly not investigating how to prevent future deaths,” she said.
“One person was killed, nobody has been punished, nothing has changed. If it was dangerous for Daphne, think how much worse it is now.” — AFP
Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2018
DUBAI, Sept 23, (Agencies): Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowed on Sunday to exact “deadly and unforgettable” vengeance for a shooting attack on a military parade that killed 29 people, including 12 of their comrades, and Tehran accused Gulf Arab states of backing the gunmen. Saturday’s assault, one of the worst ever against the elite force of the Islamic Republic, struck a blow at its security establishment at a time when the United States and its Gulf allies are working to isolate Tehran.
Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Saturday sent a cable to President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani, to express sincere condolences on the deadly assault on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz.
In his cable, His Highness the Amir condemned the terrorist attack which left dozens of casualties. He prayed for the victims and wished speedy recovery and wellness for the injured. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables of condolences to the Iranian president.
National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim also sent a cable to Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani to offer condolences on the deadly attack. In his cable, Al-Ghanim condoled with families of the victims and denounced the terrorist act. He also prayed for the dead and wished the wounded speedy recovery.
“Considering (the Guards’) full knowledge about the centres of deployment of the criminal terrorists’ leaders …, they will face a deadly and unforgettable vengeance in the near future,” the Guards said in a statement carried by state media. Four assailants fired on a viewing stand in the southwestern city of Ahvaz where Iranian officials had gathered to watch an annual event marking the start of the Islamic Republic’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.
Soldiers crawled about as gunfire crackled. Women and children fled for their lives. Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, claimed responsibility for the attack. Islamic State militants also claimed responsibility.
Neither claim provided evidence. All four attackers were killed. There has been a blizzard of furious statements from top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, accusing Iran’s adversaries the United States and Gulf kingdoms of provoking the bloodshed and threatening a tough response.
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Rouhani’s accusations as rhetoric. “He’s got the Iranian people … protesting, every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes into his military, he has oppressed his people for a long time and he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that’s coming from,” Haley told CNN. “He can blame us all he wants. The thing he’s got to do is look in the mirror,” she said.
Senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel and backed by America. But it is unlikely the IRGC will strike any of these foes directly.
The Guards could put on a show of strength by firing missiles at opposition groups operating in Iraq or Syria that may be linked to the militants who staged the attack. They are also likely to enforce a tight security policy in Khuzestan province, arresting any perceived domestic opponents including civil rights activists.
Three Arab activists told Reuters that security forces, especially the intelligence branch of the Revolutionary Guards, had detained more activists in Ahvaz. “There are many checkpoints on the streets of Ahvaz, and the security forces are searching cars,” said Hossein Bouazar, a member of Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights. “Many people are scared.” Reuters could not immediately verify this account.
Iran has also been hit by sporadic street protests over economic hardship that have taken on anti-government overtones. Rouhani engineered Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that ushered in a cautious detente with Washington before tensions flared anew with US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to pull out of the accord and reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
The attack on the military parade is likely to give security hardliners like the Guards more political ammunition because they did not endorse the pragmatist Rouhani’s pursuit of the nuclear deal with the West, analysts say. In New York, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday that US sanctions were inflicting economic pain on Iran that could lead to a “successful revolution”.
The Trump administration has said that changing Iran’s system of government is not US policy. Shi’ite Iran is at odds with Western-allied Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East. The regional superpowers support opposing sides in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria as well as rival political groups in Iraq and Lebanon.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the United Arab Emirates’ charge d’affaires on Sunday over comments made about the bloody fusillade at the military parade, state-run PressTV said. There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia on Rouhani’s allegations. Iran denies Gulf Arab accusations that it seeks to extend its sway via proxies around the Middle East, calling for states in the oil-producing region to guarantee its security without the interference of the United States and other Western powers. A senior United Arab Emirates official denied on Sunday Iranian allegations alluding to the involvement of the UAE in training troops that claimed the attack.
The “formal incitement against the UAE from within Iran is unfortunate, and has escalated after the Ahvaz attack,” said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Anwar Gargash in a tweet. “The UAE’s historical position against terrorism and violence is clear and Tehran’s allegations are baseless.” Giuliani, told members of Iran’s self-declared government in exile on Saturday that the US sympathizes with their efforts to overthrow that country’s official government.
The former New York mayor spoke to members and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the biggest opposition group to Iran’s Islamic regime. Two USbased members who joined the gathering have been targeted for assassination by alleged Iranian agents named last month in criminal complaints issued by the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
“So I say to the Iranian government, you must truly be afraid of being overthrown,” Giuliani said. “We will not forget that you wanted to commit murder on our soil.” Giuliani said the Paris-based opposition organization is the democratic answer to an Iranian regime he called “a group of outlaws and murderers and people who pretend to be religious people and then have so much blood on their hands it’s almost unthinkable.” Instead, Giuliani said, “Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy.”
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 19 August 2018: Caparol Paints, the German leader in the global paints industry, recently signed strategic partnership agreements with a number of contractors from Iraq to increase its market reach in the country.
Caparol hosted contractors from various parts of Iraq to provide them with firsthand experience of Caparol’s paints and techniques. This is part of Caparol’s growing interest in the region and increasing its reach across the Middle East. The contractors were given insights on various Caparol paint techniques, the strength of the brand and the paints that will be ideal for the Iraqi market.
With the aim to market Caparol across Iraq, Caparol will also participate in an industry event scheduled to be held in November. Caparol aims to showcase its products to a larger audience in Iraq.
Caparol products including Dibson, Texture and Stone were showcased to the contractors from Iraq. They were also provided training to understand the different decorative paints and uses including ArteTwin, Makhmalia, Armareno, DecoLasur, ArteLasur, Stucco Di Luce and Metallocryl interiors.
Speaking about expanding Caparol’s reach into Iraq, Mr. Mowaffaq Balish, Commercial Director Middle East at Caparol Paints, said, “It was a pleasure to host the delegation from Iraq. As we aim to increase our reach in the Middle East, Iraq has been our major focus. We aim to penetrate the market further and carve a niche for ourselves. Our growth in the UAE has helped us explore various other markets in the region and hosting the contractors has been an extremely important step in reaching out in the Iraqi market”.
“At Caparol we focus on knowledge sharing and its importance for growth. Our understanding of the interiors and paint industry in the UAE and Middle East has only grown stronger over the years. Through this exercise we have also educated them on the various paints we have at Caparol and its applications. Having developed our product range in-house with an up-to-date research and development team, we believe that providing insights into the industry to our peers is a great opportunity for us”, he added.
“Our interest in the region lies in being able to reach across markets and providing our paints and expertise to the interior and paint industry. Our highly efficient paints are a result of our commitment to provide the best in the industry to the people. We hope to further strengthen our relations with contractors in Iraq and increase our reach”, Mowaffaq said..
Caparol Paints has always been at the forefront of innovation with a highly sophisticated research and development department that constantly innovates technologies and manufacturing techniques, which complement the local market conditions.
Through its range of products, Caparol brings German paint techniques while focusing on appealing colours and paint textures. The brand has also made headway in sustainability by paying attention to quality and balancing between economy, environmental capability and quality of life.
About Caparol Paints:
Caparol Paints L.L.C. is a leading developer and producer of high quality paints, enamels, decorative and structural coatings as well as energy-saving thermal insulation systems. In an environment where quality is pivotal, Caparol’s paint products are tailored to create an appealing look whilst being formulated to withstand the harsh Middle Eastern climate. Caparol truly cares about family and beautiful living spaces. In fact, this core belief has helped Caparol become the largest family run paint company in Germany.
For over 120 years, Caparol’s products have cared for the health of countless families and the environment. The company, a part of the DAW (Deutsche Amphibolin-Werke) SE group in Germany, was established in Dubai, UAE in 1998 and since then it has brought the best of its German technology and service to the growing market of the Middle East. The company has secured high profile projects such as Dubai Creek Harbour, City Walk, Bluewaters, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa and Akoya by Damac, among many others.
Factory and Headquarters:
Saih Shuaib – 4, Dubai Industrial Park
P.O. Box 621182, Dubai United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 3687600, Fax: +971 4 3687650
Abu Dhabi Office:
Musaffah City, P.O. Box 94476,
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 2 5539955, Fax +971 2 5539952
Al Quoz office:
Landmark – Emirates Glass Factory
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 3473538, Fax: +971 4 3474256