Mount Kelud evacuees allowed to return home

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (left) accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono (second left) with Kelud refugees pray in District Wates, Kediri, East Java, on Monday (Feb. 17, 2014).(ANTARA/M. Risyal Hidayat)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (left) accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono (second left) with Kelud refugees pray in District Wates, Kediri, East Java, on Monday (Feb. 17, 2014).(ANTARA/M. Risyal Hidayat)

Kediri (ANTARA News) – The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has allowed evacuees to return to their homes on the slope of Mount Kelud after the volcanos status has been lowered from the top to the third alert.

According to data of volcanic activities from February 14 to 20, the volcano showed no signs of volcanic tremors, Head of the BNPB Information Center and Public Relations Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a short message text on Thursday.

However, the agency called on the people living on the slope of the volcano not to carry out activities within a radius of five kilometers from its crater and along rivers having their upper reaches on the volcano.

“The BNPB head calls on the local people to stay alert for the threat of rain-triggered lavas,” he said.

Sutopo said the East Java governor will lead the efforts to send back the evacuees and to repair houses and infrastructures damaged in last Thursdays Mount Kelud eruptions.

“The governor also has allocated Rp100 billion in funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged houses and infrastructures,” he said.

Mount Kelud, which is located in the border of Blitar and Kediri districts, East Java Province, spewed gravel and ash to the air at a height of 17 km, which later landed in a number of places, up to West Nusa Tenggara and West Java provinces, which are hundreds of kilometers away.

The eruption of Mount Kelud forced around 200 thousand people to flee, forcing closures of airports and schools in several cities in Indonesias most densely populated island of Java, due to its ash rains.

The explosive eruption affected 35 villages within a radius of 10 km from the mountains summit. These villages are located in nine sub-districts across three districts: Blitar, Kediri and Malang.

(Reporting by Imam Santoso/KR-BSR/A014)
Editor: Priyambodo RH