Bukittinggi, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Agam Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) announced on Wednesday that Mount Marapi's emergency alert status was extended for a month, made effective from January 25 to February 25.

The decision was made by the representatives of district administration, local police and military, BPBD, and the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) at their evaluation meeting.

"Mount Marapi's emergency alert status was firstly declared on January 10 and ended on January 24," acting head of the BPBD-Agam Office Bambang Warsito remarked.

Speaking in Bukittinggi following the evaluation meeting, held at the 0304 Agam District Military Command, he stated that the extension of the emergency alert status was triggered by the volcano's ongoing eruption.

To this end, the Mount Marapi alert team members would carry out several disaster mitigation measures, including widening the road size of evacuation lanes at 12 spots.

Warsito cited the example of the road size in Bukti Batabuah Village that would immediately be widened to anticipate any unwanted disastrous events.

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The district government has also planned to build protection at the river's upstream section, whose water flows from the volcano's peak, and to normalize water flows to the locals' residential areas, he remarked.

As part of its disaster mitigation efforts, the BPBD continues to intensify its public awareness campaigns by encouraging locals to wear face masks and conducting disaster mitigation simulation at schools.

The agency's personnel also continue to warn locals in areas within a 4.5-kilometer radius of Mount Marapi to stay alert, he remarked.

Located between the administrative areas of the districts of Agam and Tanah Datar in West Sumatra Province, Mount Marapi is classified as one of the most active volcanoes on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

This West Sumatra's active volcano firstly erupted at 2:54 p.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB) on December 3, 2023. The eruption reportedly left 75 hikers trapped on the slopes of the volcano.

Some 23 of the trapped hikers were reportedly killed. Since then, Mount Marapi has repeatedly erupted.

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Translator: Atlas M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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