Indonesian govt spends Rp3.6 billion on Mt Kelud eruption victims

Indonesian govt spends Rp3.6 billion on Mt Kelud eruption victims

Photo document of a resident cleans volcanic sand of damaged houses in the village Pandansari, Ngantang, Malang, East Java, on Thursday (Feb. 20, 2014). (ANTARA/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

The aid is for victims across three districts namely Blitar, Malang and Kediri."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Social Ministry deployed various humanitarian aids worth Rp3.6 Billion to help the victims of Mount Keluds eruption in East Java province, Ministrys Chief of Rapid Response Unit Iyan Kusmadiana stated here on Friday.

"The aid is for victims across three districts namely Blitar, Malang and Kediri," Iyan noted, adding that among humanitarian aid sent to the victims were food, childrens needs, family kit and tents.

He also explained that the ministry had opened two public kitchens in Malang and Kediri districts, to provide food for the victims of the Mt Kelud eruption.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), since Thursday (Feb. 20), had lowered the alert level of Mt Kelud to aware.

"Data of volcanic activity gathered between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20, showed no volcanic earthquakes and tremors, which indicates that Mount Kelud will not erupt again," Head of Data and Information Center of Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted in a statement here on Thursday.

The demoted status, therefore, allows residents to return to their homes outside the exclusion zone, an area within a five- kilometer radius of the volcanos crater.

However, the residents should remain alert as cold lava still poses a threat, especially for those residing in areas near the rivers, Nugroho added.

Previously, on Tuesday (Feb. 18), rain-triggered lahars streamed from Mount Kelud and gushed into the River Konto, inundating the farming areas in the Kandangan subdistrict, Pare district and Badas subdistrict, and Kediri district, East Java Province.

Following the eruption, Mount Kelud is estimated to be currently holding about 50 million cubic meters of volcanic materials on its slopes. The cold lava can stream down any time, particularly when it rains.

Three main rivers whose upstream areas are located on Mount Kelud are Petung Kobong, Sumber Agung, and Gedog.

Mount Kelud erupted on February 13, at 22.50 West Indonesian Time (WIB). The major explosive eruption of the 1,731-meter volcano could be heard in Solo (Central Java) and Yogyakarta, which are located around 200 km away. It spewed up gravel and ash that reached up to the West Nusa Tenggara and West Java provinces, which are hundreds of kilometers away.

(Reporting by Desi Purnamawati/translating and editing by Amie Fenia Arimbi/INE/KR-BSR/F001)