Death toll rises to 4 in Indonesian volcano eruption
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The death toll has risen to four from a volcanic eruption on Indonesia’s main island of Java that has displaced tens of thousands, an official said Saturday.
“The Mount Kelud eruption so far has claimed four lives, displaced 56,089 people but none is missing,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.
The latest victim from Thursday’s eruption was a 97-year-old woman who died from breathing difficulties. The three previous victims were also elderly villagers ranging from 60 to 80 years of age who died either from respiratory ailments or collapsing debris.
Nugroho said the four victims were residents of a village within 7 kilometers (4.34 miles) of the volcano’s crater and one of the hardest-hit areas where the volcanic ash and rock grew to about 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) thick.
The authorities declared an exclusion zone with a radius of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), and thousands of villagers were still sheltered in evacuation centers on the eastern side of the island.
The volcano has stopped erupting but white smoke was still billowing up to 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) high from its crater.
Meanwhile, Malang airport in East Java and Semarang and Cilacap airports in Central Java reopened Saturday, while the island’s four other airports remain closed, said Bambang Ervan, spokesman for the Transportation Ministry.
Ervan said the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center had declared Indonesian air space clean from volcanic ash.
Juanda international airport in East Java could open later Saturday, while Bandung airport in West Java will reopen Sunday, Ervan said.
“The volcano ceased spewing ash and rock but airports are still blanketed by volcanic ash and air transport operations remain grounded,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Nugroho, said earlier in the day.
He said airport operators were still cleaning up their facilities while waiting for results of evaluations by authorities before they could resume normal activities.
The two airports in the capital Jakarta were still open, as well as the one on the resort island of Bali, officials said.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Stephens Media LLC is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.