Cianjur, W Java (ANTARA) - The Cianjur Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) has taken precautionary measures to anticipate the impact of volcanic ash of Friday's eruption of Mount Tangkuban Perahu on residents in the district's areas, the agency's secretary, Sugeng Supriyatno, has said.

The precautionary measures were needed because strong winds could carry particles of the volcanic ash to certain areas within Cianjur District, such as Cikalongkulon, Mande, and Haurwangi, which share border with those of Bandung Barat District, he said.

However, as of Sunday, the agency has not yet received reports on Mount Tangkuban Perahu's volcanic ash from the subdistricts whose areas share border with those in Bandung Barat District, he told journalists.

"Whether the eruption of Mount Tangkuban Perahu will affect us or not, we maintain our vigilance by coordinating with related authorities because Cianjur District's areas are located on the slope of Mount Gede-Pangrango which has so far remained safe," he said.

Meanwhile, a researcher of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) predicted that Mount Tangkuban Perahu's eruption would not trigger the motions of Cimandiri and Lembang Faults.

Therefore, local people living in the areas of West Java Province where the Cimandiri and Lembang Faults exist need not be worried about an occurrence of earthquake because it was not triggered by the eruption, the center's researcher, Supartoyo, said.

Instead, the faults potentially trigger an earthquake with tremors measuring up to VIII on the Modified Mercalli Intensity(MMI) scale, he said, adding that the faults' motions could likely trigger a volcano's eruption.

However, a strong earthquake might also not make a volcano become active as revealed in the Aceh earthquake in 2004. At that time, the nine-magnitude earthquake that rocked certain parts of Aceh did not trigger the volcanoes there, he said.

Instead, in the occurrence of Yogyakarta's earthquake several years ago, it had triggered the eruption of Mount Merapi though its magnitude was lower than that of the Aceh quake, Supartoyo said.

For those living in areas of the Cimandiri and Lembang fault lines, including Cianjur District, they should remain calm and rely on information circulated by credible and competent sources, he added.

Mt Tangkuban Perahu which is located around 27 kilometers away from Bandung, one of Indonesia's most densely-populated cities, erupted on Friday (July 26).

Translator: Ahmad Fikri, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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