Eruption of Mount Rokatenda: Thousands of Survivor are Still in Evacuation

SIKKA, NUSA TENGGARA TIMUR – Thousands resident of Palue Island, in Sikka regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province still survive in camps following the volcanic eruption of Mount Rokatenda in end of March. In fact, some have been lived in camps since six months ago because of the eruption of in the end of 2012 ago.

“As an impact of the eruption of Mount Rokatenda, 2.725 residents of Palue island were evacuated to Flores, Sikka district (1629 residents) and Ende (1127 residents), while the rest are still survive on the island”, said Disaster Management Center Manager, Asep Beny, Friday (5/4).

Most of the survivor dwell in their relatives’ home and local residents at Enda and Sikka. Only 34 families who live in the Evacuation Center in Transito Building, Sikka regency. The Rescue Team of Dhompet Dhuafa successfully entered the Lidi village which is located in the first ring of mountain Rokatenda. Most of them have been evacuated, and only 50 families who remain saty in the village.

“There is no plenty of data that we can explore in the Lidi village, acording to the recent condition of the affected area. Aids such as rice, mineral water, instant noodles, and milk that we carried, were distributed proportionally in the area Lidi, the Poro and Langliwu”, said Asep.

Asep explained, no clean water in the area, the community relies on rain water at any time. However, since the eruption Rokatenda, storage tanks become damaged, and water id dependable supplied from the mainland of Flores as Ende and Maumere.

Asep told that the distribution of logistics for refugees face some difficulties due to heavy terrain condition. Refugees are scattered in various villages and islands that can be reached only by motor boat and rugged terrain on the mainland.

“In addition to logistics and clean water, survivor in Palue also need based communications network and installation of radio communication (Handy Talkie) for updating the condition of mount Rokatenda and distribute the information to every village,” said Asep. [NRA]