East Flores, NTT (ANTARA) - A joint search and rescue (SAR) team evacuated 528 residents of Nurabelen village, Ile Bura sub-district, following the eruption of Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki in East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

The joint team comprised officers of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the National Police (Polri), and the Indonesian Military (TNI).

"Considering the development of information regarding increasing eruptions and flowing lava that can hit residential areas, we have invited those who have not evacuated to evacuate to Konga," acting district head of East Flores, Doris Rihi, informed here on Monday.

Most of the residents have been evacuated to evacuation posts set up in Konga village, Titehena sub-district, to prevent disruptions in access to logistics and evacuation in the event of an eruption.

Rihi said that the government is communicating with the observation post on Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki to monitor the activity of the volcano, whose status is currently at "caution" or Level 4, the highest level of alert.

"We also need information regarding whether it emits hot clouds or not," he added.

He further said that Trans Flores road access from Larantuka to Maumere via Dulipali village cannot be closed yet because it would affect many things, including fuel supplies to Larantuka, Solor, and Adonara areas.

However, the access will be closed later if there is a recommendation related to safety, and the Northern route will be used as an alternative route.

According to him, teams from the Public Works and Public Housing Offices of NTT, East Flores, and Sikka have carried out a survey of the Northern route, and it can be used by certain trucks.

"We must ensure access, especially access to logistics for East Flores, (access to) fuel, and others. We must wait for information from the volcanology party," he said.

Residents of seven villages spread across Wulanggitang and Ile Bura sub-districts have been taken to evacuation posts readied by the regional government and the homes of other residents.

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Translator: Fransiska Mariana, Raka Adji
Editor: Arie Novarina
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