Search continues for victims of eruption


The operation goes on: A search and rescue team combing an area affected by the eruption of Mount Semeru in Curah Kobokan, East Java province. — Reuters

At the foot of Mount Semeru, what is left of the houses along the main village road is covered in a thick layer of hardened volcanic ash.

Curah Kobokan was among the worst-hit areas when the 3,676m Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, sending a cloud of ash into the sky and dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages below.

At least 34 people were killed and 22 people were missing as of Tuesday.

Since day one of the disaster, volunteer Dodik Suryadiawan, 36, has driven on the bumpy roads in his personal four-wheel-drive, helping to retrieve the remains of those who perished.

Among the victims he found was a mother who died cuddling her child.

“I feel very sorry, especially when I try to imagine hot ash falling at that time,” he said.

Using heavy equipment and shovels, Dodik and fellow volunteers joined a search team of police, military and the disaster mitigation agency, combing through land where houses and a sand mine company once stood.

As the active volcano spews hot air behind him, Dodik, who has no formal training, is constantly reminded of how dangerous his work is.

Indonesia’s volcanology agency on Monday said there was potential for further flows of hot gas, ash and rock.

Dodik started volunteering as part of a four-wheel-drive hobby group helping in a search and rescue operation last December when floods hit Lumajang Regency, where Curah Kobokan is located.

“We were inspired to express our loyalty (to the community) through our hobby,” he said.

On Tuesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the disaster zone and said at least 2,000 homes would need to be relocated to safer areas.

For Dodik, helping people to find their loved ones is all that matters. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Tributes flow in from all over the world for ‘father of mindfulness’
Marcos absent from TV interview with presidential hopefuls
Cultural China: "All people are my brothers and sisters"
3,496 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore on Monday (Jan 23), weekly infection growth rate rises to 2.75
Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Sunday (Jan 23, 2022)
Indonesia reports 2,925 new Covid-19 cases, 14 more deaths including two Omicron fatalities on Sunday (Jan 23)
Thailand records 7,686 Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths on Sunday (Jan 23)
Philippines logs 29,828 new Covid-19 cases; total now above 3.4 million infection as of Sunday (Jan 23)
Vietnam reports 14,978 new Covid-19 cases and total stands above 2.1 million infections on Sunday (Jan 23)
Singapore's Singtel and Grab acquire minority stakes in Indonesian bank

Others Also Read


Vouchers