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Indonesia will relocate all island residents due to the threat of volcanic eruptions.


Indonesia is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of its citizens in the face of volcanic threats, as the entire population of an island in North Sulawesi province is set to be permanently relocated due to the looming danger posed by Mount Ruang. The volcano's recent spectacular eruptions have triggered widespread concern, with ash emissions prompting the closure of nearby airports and the cancellation of flights. 

In response to the escalating risk, authorities have swiftly mobilized evacuation efforts, with residents of Ruang Island, numbering around 10,000 individuals, being relocated to Bolaang Mongondow on the neighboring island of North Sulawesi, approximately 40 kilometers away. This strategic decision, endorsed following a Cabinet meeting with President Joko Widodo, underscores the government's commitment to prioritizing citizen safety in the face of natural disasters.

Minister of Public Works and Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, as reported by Tempo newspaper, has affirmed plans for the construction of simple yet permanent housing in the Bolaang Mongondow area to accommodate the resettled population. Coordinating Human Development Minister Muhadjir Effendy has echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the government's dedication to ensuring the well-being of affected individuals by providing them with stable living arrangements.

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Furthermore, the government intends to designate Ruang Island as a conservation site following the completion of the evacuation process. This strategic move not only safeguards the lives of residents but also underscores Indonesia's commitment to environmental conservation and preservation efforts.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by the declaration of a state of emergency until May 14, with authorities issuing warnings of a potential tsunami in the event of volcanic collapse triggered by ongoing eruptions. Such preemptive measures are critical in mitigating the potential impact of natural disasters and safeguarding lives and livelihoods.

Indonesia's proactive response to volcanic threats is emblematic of the country's resilience in the face of geological challenges. Situated along the volatile "Ring of Fire," Indonesia grapples with more than 100 active volcanoes scattered across its thousands of islands. This geographical reality underscores the importance of robust disaster preparedness and response mechanisms to mitigate the risks posed by natural calamities.

Notably, Indonesia has witnessed similar volcanic crises in the past, such as the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali in 2017, which necessitated the evacuation of approximately 40,000 individuals from surrounding villages. The eruption, besides causing temporary disruptions in tourism and economic activities, underscored the imperative of proactive measures to address volcanic threats and protect vulnerable communities.

As Indonesia continues to grapple with the complex interplay of geological hazards and human settlements, the government's commitment to proactive disaster management remains paramount. By prioritizing citizen safety, investing in infrastructure resilience, and fostering international collaboration, Indonesia aims to navigate the challenges posed by its dynamic natural landscape while ensuring the well-being of its populace.

May 6, 2024 3:19 p.m. 4687

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