• Breaking News

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Eruption of Mt Kelud Forces Closure of Schools in Several Cities

    Tobapos -- Schools in Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Wonosobo and Blitar have been forced shut, following the eruption of Mount Kelud, as it spewed volcanic ashes hundreds of kilometers away from the mountain's top.

    The volcanic ash that has enveloped Surabaya may prove hazardous to health, the Surabaya education service head, M Ikshan, stated on Friday.

    All schools in Surabaya are closed and students are advised to stay indoors, he added.

    "The decision was taken after a meeting with the officials of concerned institutions to discuss efforts to tackle the eruption and the impact of the volcanic ash on the people's health," he stated.

    The Surabaya authorities have also distributed face masks to the local people.

    A major explosive eruption from Mount Kelud in East Java, occurred on Thursday evening, as it spat gravel and ash, affecting a number of cities not only in East Java, but also in Yogyakarta, Central Java, and a small part of West Java.

    The eruption forced thousands of people living within a radius of ten kilometers from the mountain's top to flee and take refuge.

    In Wonosobo, Central Java, Wonosobo District Head Kholiq Arief also ordered the closure of schools as the district was blanketed by volcanic ash.

    "We have instructed the sub-districts, the local education service heads, and school principals to close the schools because the volcanic ash has affected Wonosobo. This decision is effective until the condition gets better," he clarified.

    The visibility in Palur, Karanganyar District, Central Java, decreased to around 100 meters. People were wearing face masks and carrying umbrellas while leaving their homes as the ash rain was quite heavy.

    In Surakarta, also Central Java, all schools are also closed due to the volcanic ash rain, according to Surakarta Mayor F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo.

    "I have instructed the closure of all schools in Solo to prevent students from suffering health problem due to the ash rain," he pointed out.

    Head of the Yogyakarta Education Office Kadarmanta Baskara Aji in Yogyakarta announced on Friday that all schools, from elementary to senior high schools, have been closed because of the ash rain.

    "The closure is indefinite, until the condition is better," he clarified.

    International airports in the Javanese cities of Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo were also closed temporarily, stated Transport Ministry Director General of Aviation Herry Bakti, as per the media. (ant/adm)

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