Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said the erupting Mount Kelud in Kediri District, East Java, continues to be on high alert status although the volcanic activity is declining.

BNPB Head for Information Data and Public Relations Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said here on Saturday that Mount Kelud was still on alert status and the areas falling within a radius of 10 kilometers were still being vacated of the residents.

He said that the Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center (PVMBG) recorded a belch of white grey clouds up to 3,000 meters from the Kalud top at 6 am on Saturday.

The PVMBG was also still recording tremors with an amplitude reaching up to 2.5 mm. Pressures were still being built up underneath its lava dome.

Mount Kelud in East Java erupted on Thursday night, spewing molten lava and black smoke.

The molten lava was seen clearly from the sub-district of Talun in Blitar, East Java, around 15-20 kilometers from the mountain.

An Antara reporter from Blitar said people were running from their homes and some were making loud sounds by hitting the electricity poles to alert others about the fact that the mountain had really erupted, a fact being reported since 10.56pm local time.

Three people have reportedly died in the Sugihwaras Village, Kediri, East Java, located seven kilometers from the Mount Kelud crater, according to information revealed by the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

On Friday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a BNPB spokesperson, noted here that based on verified data, three people died and 76,388 had been evacuated after Mount Kelud erupted on Thursday night (Feb. 13).

The three victims were identified as Mbok Nya (60), who died after suffering the ill-effects of the volcanic ash, Sahiri (70) who was fatally hit by a wall while awaiting an evacuation car, and Sanusi (80) who died due to volcanic ash even while trying to seek refuge under a table.

"The thickness of the volcanic ash in the Sugihwaras village reached 20 centimeters," Sutopo reported.

As of Friday night, Sutopo added, the BNPB and local officers were still continuing to evacuate people living within the 10-kilometer radius of the Mount Kelud crater.

According to the latest data regarding the evacuation status, 76,388 people had been evacuated from five districts, of which 66,139 people were from the Kediri District, 3,220 from Batu City, 2,070 from the Blitar District, 3,610 from the Malang District, and 1,349 people were from the Tulungagung District.

The Mount Kelud spewed up to 80 cubic meters of volcanic material, such as ash and sand.

Until Friday night, the BNPB continued to report tremors and gust of ash still being registered around the Mount Kelud area, prompting continued enforcement of an alert status.

East Java Governor Soekarwo stated the emergency status will remain in effect between February 13 and March 12, 2014, and the authorities had provided 350 thousands masks to the residents.


Edited by INE.

Editor: Suryanto
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