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More residents evacuated after volcano eruption in NTT

INDONESIA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) -- More than 5,500 people have reportedly fled to evacuation shelters in Lewoleba city in Lembata region, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), after Mount Ili Lewotolok experienced a series of eruptions over the weekend.


The evacuees are now accommodated in 13 locations, including local officials’ offices, halls and traditional markets in nearby villages and districts.
The Lembata Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) previously reported about 2,700 residents had relocated to shelters immediately after Ili Lewotolok spewed a column of volcanic ash and smoke 4,000 meters into the air on Sunday morning. The number of evacuees has since been growing.
“The Lembata administration needs a lot of assistance, especially supplies of clean water, food and medicine for the residents in the evacuation shelters,” Lembata Regent Eliaser Yentji Sunur said on Tuesday.
He said all outsourced nurses that had been sent home would be called back to help assist the evacuees. Any party was welcomed to assist the displaced residents by providing material and moral support, as well as health services, he added.
On Tuesday, Eliaser received a working visit from NTT Police chief Insp. Gen. Lotharia Latif, commander of the 161/Wirasakti Regional Military Command Brig. Gen. Samuel Petrus Hehakaya and NTT Intelligence Agency head Brig. Gen. Adrianus Surio Agung Nugroho. Eliaser expressed his gratitude for the help of the Indonesian security personnel so far. However, he also said he still needed the Kupang Naval Main Base (Danlatamal) to help prepare water transportation to facilitate the ongoing evacuation.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Doni Monardo has arrived in Lembata to directly monitor the emergency response efforts. Lembata secretary Paskalis Tapobali said Mt. Ili Lewotolok began showing signs of volcanic activity last Thursday, when seismometers recorded earthquake tremors, before it erupted on Friday afternoon. The seismic activity slightly decreased after the first eruption, but it increased by six times on Sunday morning, before the alert status was increased to siaga (watch) – level three of the country’s four-tiered alert system, from waspada (advisory), or level two in the afternoon, he added.

(Latest Update December 4, 2020)

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