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Patriarch Kirill mourns Indonesian tsunami victims

According to the most recent reports, the death toll has reached 281 and over 1,000 people have been injured

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill has expressed condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo in connection with a devastating tsunami that killed hundreds of people, saying he would pray that those injured get well soon, the press service of the Moscow Patriarchate said on Monday.

"I learned with deep sorrow about catastrophic consequences of the tsunami that hit the western coast of Indonesia on Saturday. The calamity brought deaths and sufferings to many people, dealing sizable damage to the infrastructure of the region," the patriarch said in the letter of condolences.

"In these hard for the people of Indonesia days, I empathize with those who have lost their loved ones. I ask you to send words of consolation and support to them," he said. Patriarch Kirill said he would pray for a quick recovery of the injured people and for making stronger those who are now doing everything possible to rescue the people in distress".

A tsunami struck areas of the Sundra Strait separating the islands of Java and Sumatra on the night of December 22. A spokesman for Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), Sutopo Nugroho, said the death toll has reached 281 and over 1,000 people have been injured. At the moment, 57 people have gone missing. The disaster is believed to have been caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo admitted that the country’s agencies had been unable to alert citizens about the tsunami threat. The president set the task to check the equipment and immediately replace non-effective elements of the nationwide tsunami early warning system.