Social Affairs Ministry distributes assistance to Mt Agung evacuees

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Social Affairs is distributing assistance in the form of logistics and other emergency supplies to the evacuees affected by the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali Province.

"The aid is coming from warehouses of Bekasi in West Java Province, Makassar in South Sulawesi, and Bali Province to handle the disaster," Director General of Social Protection and Security of the Social Affairs Ministry Harry Hikmat said when contacted from Jakarta on Monday.

The number of evacuees has increased to 15,142 since the alert status for Mount Agung in Bali Province was raised to Watch, or Level IV, on Sept 22, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB).

"Since the alert status was raised on Friday (Sept 22) at 8:30 p.m. local time, officers have helped the local residents to evacuate from dangerous areas," Chief of the BNPB Data and Information Center and Public Relations Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted in a press statement released on Saturday.

The evacuees have been provided shelter in the eight districts of Badung, Bangli, Buleleng, Denpasar, Gianyar, Karangasem, Klungkung, and Tabanan, the agency noted.

Indonesias Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has appealed to tourists and residents to avoid any activity near the crater of Mount Agung and all northward, northeastward, southeastward, and south-southwestward areas within a 12-kilometer radius of its peak, increasing the area from six kilometers announced earlier.

However, despite increased volcanic activity at the 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung, Bali remains safe for tourists, according to Sutopo.

Hikmat stated that the Bekasi warehouse had distributed assistance worth over Rp860 million including 500 packages to meet the childrens needs, one thousand mattress sheets, 30 multipurpose tents, five family tents, and 150 sets of uniforms and Tagana hats.

The Makassar warehouse has sent 500 sheets of roll tents and 30 family tents, with the assistance totaling over Rp303 million.

The warehouse of Bali Province distributed a set of refugee tents, 80 sheets of roll tents, and 120 mattress sheets to a refugee post in Sidemen Village in the province. Buleleng Districts Social Affairs Office has also obtained assistance in the form of 3,623 kilograms of rice, 70 roll tents, and 60 mattress sheets.

Moreover, a refugee tent, 20 sheets of roll tents, and 40 mattress sheets were distributed to a refugee post in Rendang Village, Karangasem District, Bali Province.

The Bali provincial warehouse also channeled assistance in the form of six refugee tents, three public kitchen tents, and three platoon tents to the Social Affairs Office of Karangasem District, as well as 40 sheets of roll tents, 100 sheets of mattresses, and 100 dozen melamine glasses to the Social Affairs Office of Klungkung District.

The Bali warehouse distributed total assistance worth over Rp244 million.

In addition, the Ministry of Social Affairs has channeled logistics aid worth more than Rp1.1 billion to meet the needs of refugees.

The alert status of Mount Gunung in Karangasem District, Bali Province, had been upgraded on Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. local time. Mount Gunung Agung had last erupted on May 18, 1963.

Currently, residents living around the area of Mount Agung have evacuated to a safer refugee site, but the communitys activities are still running normally.

Source: ANTARA News

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