JAKARTA - Dramatic TV footage has emerged showing the moment waves from a tsunami that struck Indonesia on Saturday night (Dec 22) crashed into a stage where a local rock band was performing, pulling away concertgoers and causing the stage to collapse.
Around 250 employees of the state utility company PLN had gathered at the Tanjung Lesung beach in Banten province for an end-of-year event when the tsunami struck, Reuters reported.
Twenty-nine people who attended were killed by the tsunami waves, the Washington Post reported.
Video footage by MetroTV showed a crowd watching the band Seventeen performing on stage when it suddenly collapsed.
"The water washed away the stage which was located very close to the sea," the band said in a statement.
"The water rose and dragged away everyone at the location. We have lost loved ones, including our bassist and manager... and others are missing."
According to the statement, the band had been evacuated to nearby clinics, and a search and rescue team had been deployed to the area.
On Sunday, the band's lead vocalist, Riefian "Ifan" Fajarsyah, posted a video on Instagram looking distraught as he wiped away tears and asked for prayers for his wife - actress Dylan Sahara - guitarist Herman Sikumbang and drummer Windu Andi Darmawan, who were missing. A crew member for the band named Ujang was also missing, The Jakarta Post reported.
He said the band had already lost their bassist, Muhammad Awal Purbani, and their manager Oki Wijaya.
Guitarist Herman Sikumbang and crew member Ujang were later reported to have died.
Civil servants from the Youth and Sports Ministry were also on the beach, according to The Jakarta Post.
It was unclear, however, if there was more than one stage along the coastal area in Banten that night.
MetroTV reported that concertgoers were pulled by the high waves.
The Antara news agency quoted a local tourist, Nono from Bekasi in West Java, as saying: “We saw hundreds of people who were watching a music event disappear under the wave."
Nono said he and his family were in a prayer room at 9.20pm Jakarta time when he heard a loud rumble and people outside screaming for help. The family got out to save themselves. Nono said he was struck by the waves too, while his 10-year-old son Alif found himself thrown some metres away from his original location.
Both were wounded and were attended to by the nearby community health centre, Antara reported. His wife and another child, who ran towards a hill, were not injured.
Sariman, a Tanjung Lesung resident, said he and his child were hit by the tsunami. He said the waves reached 7m and he received serious wounds all over his body.
Mr Oystein Lund Andersen, a Norwegian photographer who was at the beach, said that he was taking pictures of the volcano when he suddenly saw a big wave come towards him, according to Tempo online news.
"I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15m to 20m inland," he wrote on his Facebook account.
He added that the next wave "entered the hotel area where I was staying and downed cars on the road behind it".
He evacuated his family to higher ground "through forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of by the locals".
"We are unharmed, thankfully," he said.
The washed-away concert was just one of the dramatic stories that emerged after tsunami waves struck Indonesia’s Sunda Strait without warning, killing at least 222.
Hundreds were injured and dozens still missing in the tsunami, which also damaged hundreds of home and buildings.
Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the tsunami was detected at four locations in the provinces of Banten and Lampung at 9.27pm local time.
TV images showed the seconds when the tsunami hit the beach and residential areas in Pandeglang on Java island, dragging with it victims, debris, and large chunks of wood and metal.
Coastal residents reported not seeing or feeling any warning signs, such as receding water or an earthquake, before waves of 2m to 3m washed ashore, according to media. The authorities said a warning siren went off in some areas.