More than 30,000 victims of Sinabung eruptions residing in shelters

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Sun, February 02 2014, 7:26 PM

As many as 30,152 people, or 9,403 households, are still living in evacuation centers due to the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra.

“Many people are still evacuating despite a decline in Sinabung’s volcanic activity,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

The volcanic status of Mt.Sinabung is still at “awas” (level 4) since increasing from “siaga” (level 3) on Feb.1.

Sutopo said the evacuees were from 34 villages in four districts: Namantran, Payung, Simpang Empat and Tiganderket. He said evacuees from areas outside the radius of 5 kilometers from Sinabung’s crater could return to their homes.

“Evacuees from 16 villages could return home after the lowering of Sinabung’s volcanic activity status, which is expected to take place sometime between the end of February and March,” said Sutopo.

“Eruptions and the outpouring of pyroclastic clouds, as well as lava dome growth and lava flows, have continued to occur,” he went on.

On Sunday, the number of people killed by Sinabung’s pyroclastic clouds increased to 15 from 14 as reported the previous day.

The latest victim, Surya Sembiring, 24, a resident of Kabanjahe, was previously reported to have suffered burn injuries with two other victims, Sehat Sembiring, 40, and Donny Sembiring, 70. Surya, who is also Sehat’s son, died at Earina Etaham Hospital at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday.

“As of Sunday, 15 people died due to Sinabung eruptions while two victims with burn injuries are still receiving medical treatment at a hospital,” said Sutopo. (ebf)