Sinabung emergency response extended until January 4

Sinabung emergency response extended until January 4

Mount Sinabung (ANTARA/Rony Muharrman)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The emergency response to the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra has been extended until January 4, 2014 as the volcano still shows signs of increased activity, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson said on Sunday.

"The Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) is still imposing an exclusion zone within a five-kilometer radius from the mounts peak," Head of BNPB Data and Information Center Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a written statement here on Sunday.

As many as 18,166 residents (5,644 family heads) have been evacuated. They are taking refuge in 31 different posts.

"We dont know when they will return home. It all depends on the mounts activity," Nugroho said.

To help the evacuees make a living, the authorities have delivered cash fund through a program called "Cash for Work" in which they can do some work, such as helping build sanitation, evacuation route etc. by receiving a wage of Rp50,000 per day. Each evacuee is only allowed to join the program for a maximum of 20 days.

BNPB has set aside Rp7.2 billion to the Karo District Administration for the Cash for Work program and some equipment procurement.

"We also hope the evacuees can celebrate Christmas Eve with the cash aid," Nugroho said.