Surakarta`s airport to resume operation week after volcano eruption

Surakarta`s airport to resume operation week after volcano eruption

Photo document of some officers clean up the ash on aircraft in service vukanic Adisumarmo airport, Solo, Central Java, on Saturday (Feb. 15, 2014). Due to thick volcanic ash of Mount Kelud, service Adisumarmo closed and not serving flight. (ANTARA/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

About 70 percent of areas in the airport have been cleaned up."
Solo (ANTARA News) - Adi Sumarmo airport in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, will resume operations next Thursday, a week after Mount Keluds eruption last Feb. 13, stated Chief of Airport Authority Affairs from the Ministry of Transportation Mohammad Alwi, here on Tuesday.

"We are currently cleaning the airport from the volcanic ashes. The airport will resume operations on Thursday or soon after the cleaning activity is finished," Alwi assured.

According to him, officials from Adi Sumarmo airports authority, assisted by local military personnel, have been cleaning the airports 2.6 thousand meters-long runway, parking lot and other buildings inside the airports complex.

"About 70 percent of areas in the airport have been cleaned up," Alwi added.

Earlier it was reported that seven airports and one airstrip were closed due to the volcanic ash from Mount Kelud in East Java province.

Head of Data and Information Center of National Disaster Mitigation Agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated that the seven closed airports were Juanda (Surabaya), Adi Sumarmo (Solo), Adi Sucipto (Yogyakarta) Abdulrahman Saleh (Malang), Ahmad Yani (Semarang), Husein Sastranegara (Bandung) and Tunggul Wulung airstrip in Cilacap.

Nugroho pointed out that the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, based in Washington, USA, reported that volcanic ash from Mount Kelud has blown clear of Java and Sumatra air space and has reached the Indian Ocean at the west of Sumatra Island.

"VAAC has recommended all airplanes not to travel through that area," Nugroho added.

The eruption of Mt Kelud on Thursday, Feb. 13, forced some 200 thousand people to flee, forcing closures of airports and schools in several cities in Indonesias most densely populated island of Java.

At least three residents were reported to have died.

The major explosive eruption of the 1,731-meter volcano could be heard in Solo, Central Java and Yogyakarta, located some 200 km from the volcano. Mount Kelud, located at the border of Blitar and Kediri districts, East Java Province, erupted at 10.50 pm local time. It spewed gravel and ash hundreds of kilometers, reaching West Nusa Tenggara and West Java provinces.

Mount Keluds last major eruption was in 1990, when it spewed ash and lava that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.

In 1919, the volcanos powerful explosion was reportedly heard hundreds of kilometers away and claimed at least 5,160 lives.

(Reporting by Bambang Dwi Marwoto/translating and editing by Amie Fenia Arimbi/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)