Mt Semeru eruption: BNPB responded quickly evacuates residents, sends aid to victims

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Mt Semeru eruption: BNPB responded quickly evacuates residents, sends aid to victims

A screenshot of the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Major General Suharyanto, addressing a press conference on the Mount Semeru eruption on Saturday (December 4, 2021). ANTARA/Andi Firdaus/uyu

We ask the public, especially in affected areas, to remain calm, stay alert, and continue to follow the instructions.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) responded quickly to the eruption of Mount Semeru in Lumajang district, East Java province, by evacuating residents and sending humanitarian aid for them.

"The Lumajang District Regional Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) has urged the community and miners to avoid the area around the Mujur and Curah Kobokan Rivers,” BNPB head Major General Suharyanto informed at a press conference that was broadcast on BNPB’s YouTube channel here on Saturday.

As soon as the eruption was reported, a team from Lumajang district's BPBD along with other joint rescue teams headed to the disaster location in Candipuro and Pronojiwo sub-districts to monitor the situation, collect data, take quick action, and evacuate residents, he said.

Furthermore, it established a number of evacuation sites for victims, he added.

Currently, the evacuation sites are located in Supiturang village and Curah Kobokan village in Pronojiwo sub-district and Sumberwuluh village in Candipuro sub-district.

The BNPB head said that on Saturday night, the agency dispatched a Quick Response Team along with a Health Crisis Center team from the Health Ministry to assist the Lumajang district BPBD and East Java provincial BPBD.

The teams were dispatched at 9 p.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time (WIB) by land to deliver logistics assistance consisting of tents, cloth masks, medical masks, N95 masks, and hand sanitizers, he said.

"We ask the public, especially in affected areas, to remain calm, stay alert, and continue to follow the instructions from the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG), BNPB, and other government officials," Suharyanto added.

A Mount Semeru Observation Post officer in Poncokusumo hamlet reported pyroclastic flow emanating from the volcano at 2:47 p.m. WIB, with a maximum amplitude of 20 mm.

"At 3.10 p.m. WIB, the Gunung Sawur Post reported that volcanic ash from the pyroclastic flow was clearly observed flowing towards Besuk Kobokan village, which smelled of sulfur," the BNPB head noted.

According to the PVMBG, lava avalanches were observed sliding 500 to 800 meters, with the center of the avalanches lying approximately 500 meters below the crater, he said.
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