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Daily Archives: November 5, 2010

President Yudhoyono back to Yogyakarta to closely monitor Merapi

Soldiers carry a body from Argomulyo village in Indonesia's Sleman district of Central Java province November 5, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, killing another 54 people and blanketing the surrounding area with ash. Ten days of eruptions have now killed nearly 100 people and forced the evacuation of more than 75,000. REUTERS/Stringer

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November 05, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announces he will closely monitor the situation of Mount Merapi from Yogyakarta as the volcano’s three major eruptions early on Friday have brought the death toll to some 100.

Yudhoyono said after a coordination meeting with some Cabinet ministers, the Indonesian Military (TNI) chief and the National Police chief at the Presidential Office in Jakarta he would come back to Yogyakarta on Friday evening and may stay in the presidential palace there to lead the disaster mitigation efforts. The president visited Yogyakarta and neighboring Magelang only on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with people seeking refuge from the disaster.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said the president might move to the Military Academy in Magelang if Yogyakarta was uninhabitable, and that the length of his stay would depend on the development of the situation.

Yudhoyono also announced several instructions in a press conference after the meeting, including that all emergency activities would be under the sole command of National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Syamsul Maarif, whose status has been lifted to a ministerial level.

“Although the Yogyakarta and Central Java administrations still function, seeing the scale of the disaster it is better than BNPB head takes the command with assistance from Yogyakarta and Central Java governors, Diponegoro Military Command chief, and Central Java and Yogyakarta police chiefs,” Yudhoyono said.

He added that he had instructed Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono to organize humanitarian relief for Merapi refugees, and the TNI to dispatch a brigade to help build temporary hospitals and emergency kitchens, as well as evacuate people.

The president also announced the government would allocate budget to buy cattle belonging to the locals at agreeable prices, saying it was expected to lure them not to return to their homes to take care of the animals after evacuation order was issued. He assigned Agung and the Yogyakarta and Central Java governors to deal with the matter.

Concluding the press conference, Yudhoyono asked journalists and the nation to pray for the safety of people around the volcano and an end of the calamity. (*)

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in World News

 

Death toll from Indonesian volcano nears 100

A rescuer searches for victims of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 5, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara)

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November 05, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — The death toll from Indonesia’s volcano has climbed to nearly 100 in more than a week after a blistering gas cloud ripped through a mountainside village.

Hospital spokesman Heru Nugroho said 54 bodies were brought in after the inferno. More than 66 others were injured, many of them critically with burns.

Men with ash-covered faces streamed down Mount Merapi on motorcycles followed by truckloads of women and crying children, following the massive eruption just before midnight Friday.

Soldiers helped clear the bodies from the hard-hit village of Bronggang, located 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the crater, and up until Friday considered within the “safe zone.”

The toll since Oct. 26 – including 44 killed before Friday’s massive gas burst – stood at 98.

 
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Photostream : Death toll from Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano nears 100

The bodies of victims of Mount Merapi eruption are placed at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Rescuers carry the body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara)

Rescuers carry the body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Indonesian rescuers carry the body of a victim of Mount Merapi, at hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

The body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption lies on a ground covered with volcanic ash in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (Getty Images /AP Photo/Trisnadi)

The body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption lies on a road covered with volcanic ash as a rescuer walks by in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Trisnadi)

The hand of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption is seen covered in volcanic ash in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

The hand of a Mount Merapi eruption victim is seen at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Dead cow killed in an eruption of Mount Merapi lies covered in volcanic ash as rescuers search for victims in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara)

Indonesian soldiers (TNI) search for victims of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara)

Villagers take shelter after they fled their homes following another eruption of Mount Merapi in Klaten, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Indonesian soldiers search for victims of Mount Merapi eruption at a village that was hit by pyroclastic flow in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Trisnadi)

An ash covered victim of Mount Merapi eruption arrives at a hospital in Yogyakarta on November 5, 2010. At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured Friday when Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted again, burning villages as far as 18 kilometres (11 miles) away, officials said. The latest deaths bring the total toll to more than 90 since the country's most active volcano started erupting on October 26. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

 
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Death toll from Indonesia's Mount Merapi climbs to 79

Rescuers carry the body of a victim of Mount Merapi eruption in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Trisnadi)

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November 05, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST / AP) — A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia’s most volatile volcano, torching houses in one mountainside village and nearly doubling the number of people killed in just over a week to 79.

Thirty-five bodies were brought to a morgue at a nearby hospital, which was struggling to cope with victims. More than 65 people were injured, many of them critically.

Mount Merapi, which means “Fire Mountain,” has erupted many times in the last century, often with deadly results.

Though more than 75,000 people living along its fertile slopes have been evacuated to crowded emergency shelters, many by force, others are reluctant to leave their precious livestock. Some return to their villages during lulls in activity to bring fresh grass.

It was not immediately clear why Bronggang, a village nine miles (15 kilometers) from the crater, had not been evacuated when the searing ash, gases and rock fragments hit just before midnight.

“We’re totally overwhelmed here!” said Heru Nogroho, a spokesman at the Sardjito hospital, as soldiers continued to bring in victims, many with severe burns.

Despite earlier predictions by scientists that dozens of big explosions that followed Merapi’s initial Oct. 26 blast would ease pressure building up behind a magma dome, eruptions appeared to be intensifying.

“I’ve never seen it act like this,” said Surono, a state expert on volcanos, who has observed Merapi for more than 15 years. “We don’t know what to expect.”

Towering clouds of ash shot from the crater with a thunder-like roar on Thursday morning, sending soot 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) into the air and dusting towns up to 150 miles (250 kilometers) away.

Just before midnight, Merapi erupted again, sending pyroclastic flows down the mountain.

Such clouds can reach temperatures of up to 1,400 degree Fahrenheit (750 degree Celsius), while racing down the slopes at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour).

Waluyo Raharjo, a search and rescue official, was on the scene as bodies were pulled from charred homes and loaded into vehicles, bringing them to the hospital morgue.

Activity at the mountain forced an airport in nearby Yogyakarta to close Friday.

Subandrio, a state volcanologist, meanwhile, said Mount Merapi’s “danger zone” was widened to 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the crater’s mouth.

It was the second time in as many days the area was expanded.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanos because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.

The volcano’s initial blast occurred less than 24 hours after a towering tsunami slammed into the remote Mentawai islands on the western end of the country, sweeping entire villages to sea and killing at least 428 people.

There, too, thousands of people were displaced, many living in government camps.

(MS)

 
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Russian President thanks Japan PM for invitation to APEC summit

File photo : Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan ( left) with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (June 26, 2010)

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November 04, 2010 (KATAKAMI / KREMLIN.RU) — President Dmitry Medvedev sent a response message to Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan thanking him for the invitation to take part in the 18th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Yokohama on November 13–14, 2010.

The Russian President’s message reads, in part:

“I fully share the belief in APEC’s importance in expanding multilateral political and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the effort to find effective responses to modern challenges.

I intend to actively participate in discussions on the main theme of Japan’s presidency, Change and Action. I hope that the forum will prompt its participants to adopt a set of joint measures to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis and to develop an optimal model of APEC region’s development in the post-crisis period with an emphasis on economic and social security.

I am confident that the summit will make a tangible contribution to sustainable growth of the economies participating in the forum.”

 

(MS)

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in World News