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Sinabung Mountain Evacuees Cancel to Return Home Today
A resident riding a motorcycle on a road covered by ashes from Sinabung Mountain in Sigarang-garang village, Karo, North Sumatera, (24/2). The eruption has caused 28,000 residents to evacuate to shelters. TEMPO/Dian Triyuli
Saturday, 01 February, 2014 | 20:42 WIB
Sinabung Mountain Evacuees Cancel to Return Home Today

TEMPO.CO, Medan - Sinabung Mountain in Karo, North Sumatra, has returned to discharge ashes of hot clouds today. As a result, evacuees have cancelled to return to their villages, today.

"This morning, some of the evacuees were getting ready to return to their villages. There were also some evacuees who were getting ready to clean their houses as a follow up on the Cash for Work program. But, they ended up cancelling their departure," said Head of North Sumatera Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB) Vigilance Sub Directorate Unit, Aris Fadilah.

The mountain has discharged hot clouds at 10.30 WIB (Western Indonesian Time). The clouds have caused hot ash rain to hit a number of villages in Tiganderket and Simpang Empat sub-districts.

The ash rain is considered big, as a result, it has long-distance impact around the foot of the mountain, and the ash also hit in Karo’s capital city, Kabanjahe.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) was planning to send home the evacuees to their respective villages. BNPB head, Syamsul Maarif, said the plan was to send them to 16 villages at the foot of Sinabung Mountain during the coordination meeting with the Provincial Government of North Sumatera, Thursday.

He explained that there were 4,639 families, and 13,828 residents who evacuated from 16 villages beyond the radius of 5 kilometres to be returned to their villages if Sinabung’s condition continued to improve (return to normal).

SAHAT SIMATUPANG