July 18, 2011

Situation report: Indonesia (Sulawesi) volcanic eruptions

Situation:

Three volcanoes have sent plumes of ash into the sky and forced thousands from their homes in the northern part of Indonesia’s Sulawesi province.

In all, some 6,000 people have been evacuated to six different government-appointed evacuation sites in Tomohon District, including schools, mosques and emergency shelters. The villages of Kinilow, Kakakasen and Kotomohon are most vulnerable to the volcanic materials.  An eruption last week sent searing ash north of Tomohon, burning a forest near Mount Lokon.

More than 33,000 people live along the slopes of Mount Lokon, growing cloves and coffee on its fertile slopes. The eruption has badly affected their livelihood, as the hot ash has covered their farms. Local officials promised to distribute seeds to help those affected recover their farms. They will also distribute mask and medicines to people in the evacuation sites and surroundings.

"After hearing several explosions, my family and I hurried to leave the house. We were so afraid and not ready,” said 43-year-old Delce, who is staying at a school shelter with her husband and three children.

Situation:

Church World Service is conducting an initial assessment and identifying humanitarian needs of those affected by the Mount Lokon eruptions. CWS will coordinate its response with local authorities. CWS will focus on potential unmet needs.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.