Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Suharyanto reminded evacuees affected by Mount Ruang's eruption in Sitaro Islands District to not believe in hoaxes or fake news.

"Many hoaxes spread on social media. Please do not believe it. Let the government share the right information," Suharyanto stated during a meeting with evacuees from Tagulandang Island at a church in Siau, North Sulawesi, on Saturday.

Siau is the capital of Sitaro Islands, where residents affected by Mount Ruang's eruption have been evacuated to, in addition to Manado City, Bitung, and North Minahasa.

Suharyanto remarked that until now, both his side and the public received various hoax news that cannot be accounted for and only stoked more fear and confusion among the residents.

Meanwhile, he also urged the evacuees to not return to their homes yet until an official announcement is received from the government that the condition is safe.

"Currently, the government is focusing on handling displaced people and distributing aid, which is their main need," he explained.

Earlier, the BNPB stated that a total of 12 thousand residents affected by Mt. Ruang's eruption had to be evacuated to safer places outside the island.

The residents are from Tagulandang Island, Sitaro Islands District, which is located less than 10 kilometers from the volcano's crater.

As of Wednesday (May 1), some 3,364 residents have been successfully evacuated, according to the BNPB team data.

At least 5,719 people are left on Tagulandang Island and should be evacuated immediately to evacuation posts located on Siau, Manado, or North Minahasa.
Suharyanto remarked that his side had deployed 11 ships to transport the rest of the evacuees.

The ships were owned by the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the Customs and Excise, the Navy, and private ferries.

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Translator: Hence, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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