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Big waves drown 11 people on Indonesia beach despite warning

February 13, 2022 GMT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Eleven people drowned after being dragged by big waves on a beach in Indonesia’s East Java province despite warnings to avoid the sea, officials said Sunday.

They were part of a group of 24 people from several villages who took part in a local ritual that involves swimming in the ocean on Saturday night, officials from the Surabaya Search and Rescue Agency said.

A 2-year-old girl was among the 13 survivors at the Payangan beach in Jember district, the officials said. They were being treated at a health clinic.

“A local resident warned them not to go into the sea because of big waves but they ignored it,” said chief rescuer I Wayan Suyatna. He said that 23 of them were dragged by a sudden wave.

The last victim was recovered on Sunday afternoon.

Indonesia’s weather agency has warned of potential extreme weather and high waves in several regions, including East Java province.