"I am still afraid that the tsunami will return, so when dark comes, I stay at a temporary shelter on the hill," said Rohayati, who worked to salvage what was left of her battered house, 300 meters (985 feet) from the sea. "I hope the government can provide a tsunami warning, like a siren, for people living in coastal areas so we can be alerted of a potential tsunami and have time to save ourselves."
The country's system of tsunami detection buoys — deployed after the 2004 disaster — has not worked since 2012, with some units being stolen or vandalized.
Karnawati, of the meteorology agency, said that because the tsunami was caused by volcanic activity, it would not have been picked up by the system's seafloor sensors, which monitor movement from conventional earthquakes responsible for most of Indonesia's tsunamis.
Residents of Sumur village, which has been slow to receive aid due to roads being cut off, remained stunned by how quickly the tsunami hit. The beach, located just a few kilometers (miles) from the tourist island of Umang near Java's western tip, is popular for snorkeling and other water activities. The tsunami decimated the area, ripping houses from their foundations and bulldozing concrete buildings.
Scientists have said the waves were recorded in several places at about 1 meter (3.3 feet) high, but Sumur residents insisted they towered more than 3 meters (10 feet), possibly as high as 5 meters (16.4 feet), which the government's disaster agency also confirmed in some areas.
"There was no sign of a tsunami when we were at the beach. The sea didn't recede," said Tati Hayati, who was enjoying a pleasant evening with 10 other people when the disaster hit. "It was calm and bright with the full moon."
When she spotted high, fast-moving waves launching toward the shore, she ran to her car and managed to get inside. But she couldn't outrun it. She said the car was struck by three waves, breaking out the back window and filling the vehicle with gushing water.
"We were locked inside. The car was swaying in the waves and we thought we would all die," Hayati said. "We almost could not breathe and I almost gave up when I groped the key in the water and managed to open the door, and the water began to recede. We got out of the car and ran to safety."
More than 21,000 people were displaced from their homes and heavy equipment was urgently needed in the Sumur subdistrict near Ujung Kulon National Park to help get aid flowing and reach people who may be injured or trapped, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency.
The death toll was 429, with more than 1,400 people injured and at least 128 missing, he said.
Anak Krakatau formed in the early 20th century near the site of the cataclysmic 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which killed more than 30,000 people and hurled so much ash that it turned day to night in the area and reduced global temperatures.
Anak Krakatau has been erupting since June and did so again 24 minutes before the tsunami, according to the geophysics agency.