Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - Andalas University launched an online learning initiative to serve its students severely affected by the impacts of Mount Marapi's cold lava floods and landslides that hit several areas in West Sumatra over the weekend.

The online learning initiative is made effective from May 13 to May 17, Andalas University (Unand) rector Efa Yonnedi stated in Padang, the capital of West Sumatra Province, on Monday.

To this end, Yonnedi spoke of having urged deans of all faculties and postgraduate schools to enable their students to participate actively in online classes and also monitor online lectures.

Mount Marapi's cold lava floods and landslides struck several areas of the districts of Agam and Tanah Datar as well as Padang Panjang City on Saturday evening, May 15, killing at least 41 people.

The online learning initiative aims to meet Unand students' rights to get educational services while protecting their safety amid a deadly catastrophe, he added.

Unand is a public university whose main campus is located in the Limau Manis neighborhood of Padang.

According to its official website, Unand, which currently has 15 faculties and 156 undergraduate and postgraduate programs, was officially inaugurated by Indonesia's first vice president, Mohammad Hatta, on December 23, 1955.

As per official records, it is the fourth public university to have been inaugurated by the Indonesian government.

Unand has been classified as a Cluster I university since 2016, and since 2021, the government has placed it in the group of Indonesia's reputable universities with legal entity (PTN-BH).

In addition to its main campus in Limau Manis, Unand, which currently has over 32 thousand students, also has campuses in the districts of Payakumbuh and Dharmasraya.

Meanwhile, regarding Mount Marapi's cold lava floods and landslides, ANTARA noted that the catastrophe caused serious damages to several local residents' houses and businesses, as well as public facilities in the affected areas.

The disaster has also severely damaged several road sections, including the one near the Anai Valley's waterfall, which has resulted in the disruption of mobility of people and goods between Padang and Bukittinggi.

Mount Marapi firstly erupted on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at about 2:54 p.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB). The eruption reportedly left 75 hikers trapped on the slopes of the volcano.

The volcano erupted again on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at around 8:45 p.m. local time.

According to Bukit Batubuah Village Chief Firdaus in Agam District on Sunday (January 7), the volcano erupted thrice and released booming and roaring sounds.

Firdaus noted that the eruption was also followed by flaming sparks in addition to long-lasting loud sounds.

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Translator: M.Zulfikar, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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