Nearly 300 New Zealanders who are registered as being in Indonesia are being urged to contact loved ones back home after a tsunami left dozens of people dead.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are advising Kiwis in Indonesia to register with SafeTravel after the powerful tsunami ripped through country's coastline.

At least 168 people have been killed and another 745, at least, were injured after waves
struck on Saturday evening local time in the Sunda Strait region, which is between the islands of Java and Sumatra.

All New Zealanders in Indonesia are advised to register their details on www.safetravel.govt.nz, a MFAT spokesman told the Herald.

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The spokesman said those affected by the tsunami were also advised to follow the advice of the local authorities, and to notify friends and family in New Zealand of their status.

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"There are currently 299 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Indonesia," he said.

MFAT was responding and the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta was in contact with local authorities in Indonesia.

"We have no information to suggest New Zealanders have been affected by the tsunami at this stage."

Victims of the tsunami have so far been confirmed in the Pandeglang, South Lampung and Serang regions.

Initial indications are that the killer waves were caused by undersea landslides following an eruption of the Anak Krakatoa, or "Child of Krakatoa", volcano.

Disaster authorities initially assured people there was no tsunami risk and told locals not to panic, and that there was tidal wave activities as a result of the full moon.

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They later issued a clarification, admitting that a tsunami had indeed struck.

Rescue crews are heading to the area to assist locals. It's not known if any New Zealanders were in the area at the time.

Vision shared on social media shows locals running in fear as waves swamp the coastline, inundating restaurants and hotels.

Anak Krakatau emerged in 1927 from the caldera formed in the 1883 eruption, and is the current location of eruptive activity.

Vision shared on social media shows locals running in fear as waves swamp the coastline, inundating restaurants and hotels.

"I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters) inland," Oystein Lund Andersen wrote on Facebook.

He said he was taking pictures of the volcano when he suddenly saw a big wave coming towards him.

"Next wave entered the hotel area where I was staying and downed cars on the road behind it. Managed to evacuate with my family to higher ground trough forest paths and villages, where we are taken care of (by) the locals. Were unharmed, thankfully."

In September, an estimated 2000 people were killed by a quake and tsunami that hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi.

On Boxing Day in 2004, a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a number of tsunami waves that killed an estimated 228,000 across 14 countries.

That tsunami was generated by a 9.1-9.3 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate, with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra. A series of large tsunamis up to 30m high were created by the underwater seismic activity that became known collectively as the Boxing Day tsunamis.

Communities along the surrounding coasts of the Indian Ocean were seriously affected, and the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh reported the largest number of victims.

The earthquake was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, and the third largest ever recorded. It had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between eight and 10 minutes.