Disaster agency cautions people to avoid hiking activities on Mount Rinjani

Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The Provincial Agency for Disaster Management (BPBD) in Mataram has cautioned its citizens to not undertake hiking and climbing activities on Mount Baru Jari (Rinjani), after it erupted on Sunday (Oct. 25).

"We appeal to the people to suspend hiking activities until we announce a safety status regarding the mountain," Supardi, the head of BPBD Mataram, stated on Monday.

Supardi, as part of his assessment test activities at the Mataram regional office, also reminded foreigners and the local people, especially Hindus, who have planned to conduct the religious ceremony called "Mulang Pekelem," to not climb the mount due to its alert status.

He explained that the impact of Matarams eruption is not yet visible. However, he and his officers have constantly appealed to the people to stay on alert.

"A disaster cannot be forecast. Therefore, we have to stay on alert," he noted.

He remarked that no teams from Mataram had been assigned to support the evacuation process and to intensify security measures around Mount Rinjani in East Lombok District.

The idle teams in Mount Rinjani are the search and rescue team and BPBD personnel from East and North Lombok districts.

If something untoward occurred, then support would be urgently required, and the rescue team from Mataram is ready for the task.

"Our team is ready to help anytime they need," he emphasized.

At around 10:45 a.m. local time, Sunday (Oct. 25), the 2,376-meter-high Mount Rinjani erupted, spewing out a cloud of dust and haze.

This is the second incident after it first erupted in May 2009.(*)