The refugees are currently being accommodated at 31 shelters, said the Head of the Mount Sinabung Disaster Mitigation Media Center Jhonson Tarigan, to Antara, here, Sunday.
According to him, the 31 shelters consist of Tiga Binanga area, Payung Church, the Grand Mosque of Kabanjahe, Kabanjahe District Military Command dormitory, Jambur Natolu area, Islamic Center building, Cape Mbelang area and Cape Pulo area.
The refugees hail from 23 villages and two hamlets in Karo District, such as Sukameriah, Guru Kinayan, Selandi Lama, Kutarakyat and Sigaranggarang in Payung Sub-district.
"Besides, the refugees also come from villages such as Berastepu, Sibintun, Gamber, C Kuta, Kuta Mbelin, Kebayaken, Kuta Tonggal and Sukanalu in Simpang Empat Sub-district," he said.
He said at least 17,918 people or 5,537 families had been evacuated and accommodated in Kabanjahe, capital of Karo district, until last Friday.
Jhonson said the refugees remained solid at the shelters and continued to receive food and medicine assistance from the Karo administration, private institutions, political party leaders, businessmen, and students.
"Many people have donated foods, medicines, and beverages at the Kabanjahe command post," he said.
He added the number of refugees reached 17,443 last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Karo district administration noted the number of refugees sheltered in Kabanjahe was 17,352 last Tuesday.
The alert status of Mount Sinabung had been raised to the fourth or highest level after the volcanos activities intensified further.