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Indonesian president visits disaster-stricken areas in East Java

English.news.cn   2014-02-17 19:52:32

KEDIRI, Indonesia, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited on Monday camps accommodating refugees set up in villages the hardest hit by the recent eruption of Kelud volcano in East Java province.

Accompanied by his wife and some of his ministers, Yudhoyono visited the Kediri regency on his first leg of the trip to the disaster-stricken areas.

In the regency, which is covered by volcanic sands, the president first met refugees camped in a grand mosque that accommodates more than 2,800 refugees.

Then, he visited the disaster mitigation command center jointly operated by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the Navy and the National Rescue Agency (Basarnas) located in Wates landmark field.

Before entering the command post tent, the president had a dialogue with some refugees. He gave no statement to the press. Inside the command post, he listened to explanation about the pattern of Kelud volcano eruption and possibility of eruption in the future, the president later said on his Twitter social media account.

The president added that identifying pattern of the eruption was essential to provide better anticipation should similar disaster take place in the future.

He and his entourage continued visiting another camp located in Segaran village in the subdistrict. From Kediri regency, the president was also scheduled to visit other refugee camps in Blitar and Malang regencies on Tuesday.

Indonesian authorities have downgraded the hostility status of Kelud volcano from high alert to standby following significant reduction of volcanic activities.

Eruption of the volcano on Friday night claimed four lives and forced more than 56,000 people to seek refuge.

Editor: Yang Yi
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