Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) stated that tourist visits to Pumpente and Laingpatuhe Villages in Sitaro Islands District, North Sulawesi, were still closed due to potential volcanic activity on Mount Ruang.

"It is closed, so there is no activity in the two villages, which are at the foot of Mount Ruang," BNPB Deputy for Logistics and Equipment Lilik Kurniawan remarked here on Thursday.

Kurniawan explained that tourist visits were closed to the villages, as they were located only four kilometers from the peak of Mount Ruang, considered as the safe zone boundaries from the mountain's summit.

The zone boundaries were determined on the basis of the decision of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) team regarding Mount Ruang's status that was earlier at Level IV (Alert) to Level III (Standby) on Monday (Apr 22).

Kurniawan remarked that the Sitaro Islands district government had put up signs prohibiting people from conducting any activities, including tourist visits, in the villages of Pumpente and Laingpatuhe.

"These prohibitory signs are a means of outreach (so that residents) no longer enter Pumpente and Laingpatuhe villages, which are within the disaster-prone radius," he explained.

The BNPB reported that based on data from the Sitaro district government verification team, there were a total of 14,045 residents in the local area, comprising 6,842 men and 7,044 women who were affected by Mount Ruang's eruption since April 16, 2024.

Out of this figure, 6,125 residents, consisting of 2,943 men and 3,182 women, were evacuated to refugee camps spread across 13 locations.

The emergency response status for Mount Ruang's eruption will remain in effect until at least April 29, 2024, based on a circular issued by the Sitaro Islands district government.

To meet the basic needs of affected residents during the emergency response status, the BNPB has sent the first phase of assistance, such as five refugee tents, 100 family tents, four lighting towers, four generator units, and 300 packages of basic necessities.

Moreover, the aid comprised 300 packages of ready-to-eat food, 300 packages of hygiene kits, 300 mattresses, 300 blankets, 150 folding mattresses, 300 boxes of masks, 50 units of velbed, 10 units of portable toilets, and 300 packages of survival kits.

Translator: M. Riezko Bima Elko Prasetyo, Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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