TEMPO.CO, Bima - There are 14 missing residents and 3,000 evacuees after Mount Sangeang, Bima District, West Nusa Tenggara erupted for the second time, early today at around 1:20 a.m.
Bima Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) officer, Suryadin, said the joint officers are currently searching for the 14 missing residents.
Based on reports of the families unable to find their relatives, names of missing residents have been announced at a post located at Tawali field, approximately 10 kilometers from the mountain.
"They got separated after Mt Sangeang erupted. Everyone went panic. The following eruption was beyond prediction," Suryadin said.
He expected the number of evacuees to be 3,000 people. They came from Sangeang Pulo, Sangeang Darat, Tadewa, Hidirasa, Tawali and Oi Tui villages and its surrounding areas. Some came from Pai and Poja villages, Sape sub-district.
Officers have difficulties acquiring accurate data of evacuees since the eruption occurred faster than predicted. The status was raised from "standby" to "alert" in merely a couple of hours.
"It [Mt Sangeang] suddenly erupted during midnight, when people were sleeping, and caught thousands of residents by surprise. As a result, some of them were separated," Suryadin said.
AKHYAR M NUR