East Flores, NTT (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Suharyanto stated that his agency provided basic needs assistance for evacuees of the eruption of Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki in East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

"Today, the BNPB assists again for (fulfilling) basic needs required on the field. There are 18 types of goods," he remarked during a visit to a shelter in Konga Village, Titehena Sub-district, East Flores, on Tuesday.

The BNPB visited shelters and held discussions with the community as mandated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to prioritize the people's safety.

Suharyanto underlined that the BNPB should ensure that the evacuees' basic needs are handled well and cooperate with all parties to ensure optimal handling.

During his visit, Suharyanto symbolically handed over assistance packages at two main shelter locations in the Konga and Boru Village in Wulanggitang Sub-district, East Flores.

The assistance provided by the BNPB to the evacuees is 3,500 packages of staple goods, 3,250 packages of hygiene kits, 10 tents, 15 family tents, 500 camping beds, five generator sets, 10 light towers, and three thousand packages of ready-to-eat food.

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They also include three thousand folding beds, three thousand packages of mattresses, three thousand blankets, one thousand packages of protein biscuits, 300 packages of baby milk, 300 packages of baby porridge, 500 packages of women's clothing, three thousand boxes of mineral water, and three thousand bottles of soap.

The BNPB head stated that operational fund aid had been given to the regional government to handle the disaster.

"We increased the operational budget. When we visited before, we gave a budget of Rp250 million (around US$15,836), but now, we have added another Rp250 million, so that there is Rp500 million (around US$31,673) that can be used," he stated.

Acting Governor of NTT Ayodhia G. L. Kalake expressed gratitude for the support given by the central government.

He expressed optimism that the residents would not return to their homes, as the condition of the volcano was not yet normal.

Currently, the status of Mount Lewotobi Laki-laki has declined, from Level 4, or caution, to Level 3, or alert.

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Translator: Fransiska Mariana, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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