Mt. Agung Eruption: Govt Making Mitigation Efforts to Minimize Impact, Minister Says
Although the Government has declared the Alert Status for Mount Agung since 22 September, it cannot be determined yet when the mountain, located in Karangasem Regency in Bali, will erupt.
Nevertheless, the Government has made mitigation efforts in addressing the situation.
We are making mitigation efforts. We are preparing if the volcanic activity will be more serious or not. Well see whether we will declare emergency situation or not because we are not at the transition period and the mountains status is at alert status, said Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani in her statement to reporters after a limited meeting on measures to anticipate increasing volcanic activities of Mount Agung and Mount Sinabung at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, Thursday (28/9).
The Minister also ensured that the Government would provide things needed by evacuees affected by the increasing volcanic activities of the mountain. She added that President Jokowi has also instructed Bali Governor to immediately take measures needed to mitigate the impacts.
However, what we need to stress here is that there are no problems with tourism. However, we are preparing strategies in case the volcanic activities of the mountain bring about widespread impacts, the Minister said.
According to the Minister, at least 9 regencies/municipalities in Bali are affected by the increasing volcanic activities of Mount Agung.
Puan added that during the limited meeting, President Jokowi had instructed related ministries/institutions including BNPB, Minister of Social Affairs, Minister of Health, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and others to take mitigation measures.
In the meantime, regarding increasing volcanic activities of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatera province, the Minister said that the problem is now how to relocate affected residents in the second and third stages. In the first stage, which was done in 2010, the Minister said that at least 370 families were relocated. She added that those families have been relocated and some of them have even received houses as well. Meanwhile, 80% of the evacuees were also relocated in the second stage and the third stage of relocation is under way in which around 1655 families will be relocated to Siosar, where around 480 hectares of land are already available.
North Sumatera provincial, Karo regency government, and Minister of the Environment and Forestry are already committed to relocating evacuees who do not have lands yet, Minister Puan said. (DNA/JAY/ES) (EP/YM/Naster)