Indonesian rock band Seventeen was performing at a private concert as part of an end-of-year celebration for Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the country’s electricity utility on Saturday night before an unspeakable tragedy occurred. A massive tsunami struck Java and Sumatra, including Tanjung Lesung beach on the Western tip of Java, where the band was performing, without warning, killing members of the band and dozens in the crowd.
In a video, one can see the band performing for a crowd before a wall of water lifts up the stage and completely obliterates the entire venue. It is disturbing to watch.
According to the AP, bassist M. Awal “Bani” Purbani, road manager Oki Wijaya, guitarist Herman Sikumbang, the drummer and crew member Ujang were all killed. The lead singer survived, but his wife, who serves as a backup singer remains missing.
One crew member, identified by Channel NewsAsia by the name Zack, said he survived by holding on to part of the collapsed stage.
“Underwater, I could only pray, ‘Jesus Christ, help!’,” Zack said in an emotional post online of his struggle via the Washington Post. “In the final seconds, I almost ran out of breath.”
29 people who attended the concert were killed.
According to the latest estimate by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency via NPR, at least 373 people have died, with 128 missing and nearly 1,500 wounded.
The tsunami was triggered by volcanic activity on Anak Krakatau Island, which triggered underwater landslides, which weren’t detected by seismic monitors. The detection buoys have reportedly not been working since 2012 according to the Associated Press because of vandalism and budget issues. Relief and rescue efforts are underway.