TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Karo district administration in North Sumatra Province has distributed 1,500 face masks to local residents to protect them from the volcanic ash of Mount Sinabung's eruption and novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The face masks were distributed to motorists, drivers, and residents venturing outdoors, Acting Head of the Karo Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Natanail Perangin-angin was quoted by ANTARA as saying on Sunday.
The Mount Sinabung in Karo District, North Sumatra Province, again erupted on early Saturday producing a 2,000-meter-high ash column, and affecting the local residents in the subdistricts of Teran, Berastagi, Simpang 4, and Merdeka.
"Local residents must wear the face masks to cover their mouths and noses," Perangin-angin said, adding that wearing the face mask has also been mandated in the government's health protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mount Sinabung has repeatedly erupted since 2010. Its sporadic eruptions have resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people in disaster zones. Currently, this volcano's alert status is at Level III.
Local residents and visitors are also prohibited from venturing within a three-kilometer (km) radial radius of the summit of Mount Sinabung and a sectoral radius of 5 km for the south-east sectors, and 4 km for the east-north sectors.