EARTH QUAKE IN THE MENTAWAI ISLANDS AND THE ERUPTION OF MERAPI IN YOGYAKARTA

10/29/2010

 

On Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 October 2010, Indonesia was consecutively afflicted by natural catastrophes. The first disaster occurred in the Islands of Mentawai off the west coast of Sumatra. On the following day, the volcano Merapi in Yogyakarta erupted.

 

The quake measuring 7,2 on the Richter Scale with the epicenter located 10 km under the ocean bed  hit the Islands of Mentawai off West Sumatra at 21.42 hours local time on 25 October 2010. The sea quake caused tsunami waves of up to 3 meters in height which rushed 400 meters inland. As of 28 October, 370 victims were counted and 338 are still listed as missing according to the rescue authorities of West Sumatra. Preliminary information indicates that there were no German citizens among the victims. Facing the tragedy, the Regional Government of West Sumatra has set up emergency rescue stations, temporary housings and has taken steps to relocate the affected population.

 

On the following day, the head of the volcanic research and technology authority of Yogyakarta announced that Mount Merapi was spewing hot gas for more than one and a half hours. This caused the top of the volcano to collapse, releasing the lava to reach the surface and leading to the outflow of lava. The eruption caused hot gases to rise and led to ash rain. There are no exact data on the number of victims, but as of 27 October 2010, 29 people perished in connection with the eruption according to the speaker of the local hospital. The Government of the Special district of Yogyakarta declared the area within the radius of 10 km of the volcano affected area. The general activities of the population however ran as usual and the Yogyakarta area remains safe for visits by tourists.

 

As of present, the Government of Indonesia is still capable to handle the situation on its own and aids from foreign sources are at this juncture not required.

 

Following the natural catastrophies in Indonesia, Dr.Guido Westerwelle, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany has transmitted a condolence telegram to his counterpart, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr. Marty Natalegawa.