Five Presidential Instructions for Handling the Merapi Crisis


5 November 2010

Presidential Instructions fo handling the Merapi Crisis

Following the eruption of Mount Merapi, on Friday November the 5th, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had issued five instructions on handling the situation in the surrounding area of Mount Merapi which had continued to erupt since its first eruption on 26 October.

The president had instructed that:

1. The Head of National Board of Disaster Management (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BNPB) to head all the emergency rescue and relief operations.

2. TThe Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare to ensure that the humanitarian aids from the central government to the affected areas are carried out fast, precise and well coordinated.

3. The Indonesian Armed Forces to prepare, deploy, and assign one brigade to the rescue and relief operation. The armed forces will also mobilize and deploy its military vehicle for the movement of the people.

4. The National Police to deploy and assign police task force to the humanitarian operation, especially in the flow of the traffic of the evacuation and relief operation, as well as in providing security to the public.

5. The government will purchase all the cattle and other domestic livestock owned by the people who have been the victims at reasonable price. This is to ensure that the people will not hesitate to be evacuated from the dangerous zone.

Mount Merapi continues to erupt

At least two villages on the slopes of Mount Merapi were devastated by the volcano’s hot mudflow on Friday 5 November. The two villages are located in the Sleman District, Yogyakarta Province.

A three meter high dam near one of the village collapsed by the flowing of the hot mud and destroyed 10 houses. So far, authority had found 31 bodies under the houses. The eruption on Friday had caused 58 people died while 66 are being treated for serious burns injury.

Mount Merapi which is located on the border of Yogyakarta Province and Central Java Province has continuously erupted since 26 October, killing around 90 people and displacing over 100,000 people.

The authority of Adi Sutjipto airport in Yogyakarta had announced that the closure of the airport had been extended until noon this Friday. Since 2 November, international airlines had cancelled their flights to the airport.

The Indonesian Government is currently intensifying rescue efforts to minimize the number of victims. Local villagers living within the dangerous zone around Mount Merapi had been instructed to coordinate with the local authorities.

A total of 17,776 people in Sleman district, Yogyakarta, and 13,757 people in Magelang district, Central Java, have so far evacuated to safer places following the eruption.

Recent situation on the aftermath of Tsunami on Mentawai Island

The earthquake on 25 October off the coast of West Sumatera Province that triggered a tsunami last week had flattened hundreds of houses in 24 hamlets in Mentawai Island, causing the lives of 437 people and 75 missing. The waves had also destroyed many infrastructures on the island including schools.

Extreme whether and high seas have frustrated efforts to distribute aid. Relief supplies are being transported by helicopters and ships. Naval warships had been ordered by the military command and are among the first to be on location to distribute aids to the victims on the Island. Three warships, including one mobile hospital ship from the Eastern Fleet had been sent to the Island to provide medical assistance.

The official one-week search and rescue operation has ended, and officials and volunteers are now focusing on distributing relief aid, assisting refugees and reconstructing damaged roads and bridges.