Tag Archive: Sumatra


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The Express Tribune

 

Indonesian landslide buries 18 villagers

By AFP
Published: December 3, 2015
A rescue team searches for survivors and remove bodies after a landslide at Jemblung village in Banjarnegara, central Java province, on December 13, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

A rescue team searches for survivors and remove bodies after a landslide at Jemblung village in Banjarnegara, central Java province, on December 13, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA: A landslide triggered by torrential rains on Thursday engulfed a village in western Indonesia, burying 18 people, an official said.

Three have been found dead and rescuers are searching for the bodies of 15 others after the landslide hit the village of Lebong Tandai on Sumatra island, a hilly area known for gold mining.

Several houses were buried when mounds of earth and rocks surged down a hillside in the early hours, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

 

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Asia One

Floods, landslides hit West, North Sumatra, cut off access

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Photo: Reuters

Torrential rain has caused landslides in parts of West and North Sumatra, cutting off access and disrupting economic activity.

A 150-meter stretch of the highway connecting West Sumatra and Riau in Jorong Sopang, Pangkalan Koto Baru, Limapuluh Kota regency, was engulfed by up to a meter of floodwater on Sunday at 5 a.m. local time.

Limapuluh Kota Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Nasriyanto said the flooding was triggered by the overflowing Batang Manggilang River.

“Only large trucks were able to pass, resulting in other vehicles from Pekanbaru and Payakumbuh backing up 2 kilometers for eight hours,” Nasriyanto told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

He said the heavy rain that had drenched the region in the past three days had triggered floods and landslides in a number of locations in the regency. At least 500 homes were engulfed by over 50 centimeters of floodwater and eight homes were reportedly damaged by a landslide on Sunday morning.

 

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Primates in peril: HALF of our closest living relatives are on the brink of extinction around the world

  • Scientists released a new report on the world’s most endangered primates
  • The Hainan gibbon in China has just 25 individuals remaining in the wild
  • There are just 50 Northern sportive lemur left living in Madagascar
  • Scientists warn new efforts are needed to save many of these species

Danger list: Endangered primates that are battling for survival

Danger list: Endangered primates that are battling for survival

They are our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, yet more than half of the world’s primates are facing extinction due to our destruction of the habitats where they live.

Burning and clearing of large areas of tropical forest, combined with hunting of primates for food and illegal wildlife trade, has placed many species of apes, lemurs and monkeys at risk of dying out.

These include iconic species such as the Sumatran orang-utan, Grauer’s gorilla, the Northern brown howler monkey and the Hainan gibbon.

More than half of the world's primates are at risk of dying out due to the threat posed by habitat loss and hunting. The Hainan gibbon (pictured) is thought to be the world's most endangered primate, with just 25 of the animals left living on an isolated island in China

More than half of the world’s primates are at risk of dying out due to the threat posed by habitat loss and hunting. The Hainan gibbon (pictured) is thought to be the world’s most endangered primate, with just 25 of the animals left living on an isolated island in China

Scientists and conservation experts have now updated a report on the world’s 25 most endangered primates based on the current knowledge of the animals numbers and the risks facing them.

Dr Christoph Schwitzer, a primatologist and director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society who helped compile the list, said: ‘This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world’s primates.

Earth Watch Report  –  Volcanic Events

File:Merapi ash plume MODIS sat image 10 Nov 2010.jpg

Thick plume of ash rising from the Merapi Volcano on November 10, 2010 and travelling to the west. From Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, A dark brown streak down the southern face of the volcano is ash and other volcanic material deposited by a pyroclastic flow or lahar.

Author  –   NASA  public domain

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February 26 2014 05:34 PM Volcano Activity Indonesia West Sumatra, [Mount Merapi Volcano] Damage level Details

 

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Volcano Activity in Indonesia on Wednesday, 26 February, 2014 at 17:34 (05:34 PM) UTC.

 

Description
Another ash eruption occurred at the volcano this afternoon at 16:15 local time. According to local news quoting the local VSI volcano observatory spokesman, the eruption today was the largest in a series since the alert status had been raised on 3 August last year. Ash fell in a radius of 3 km where some villages are located. Also according to the article, the volcano has had a total of 57 recorded eruptions since January 2014. Since all of these have been small, and Indonesia is very used to small volcanic eruptions, they hardly make any news at all (while such an event at other volcanoes would). The alert status remains unchanged at 2 out of 4. People were recommended to avoid exposure to ash if possible and wear dust masks.

 

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Metro TV News

The Citizens Of Merapi Prompted To Be Alert

Kamis, 13 February 2014 | 15:10 WIB

ANTARA/Noveradika/ip
Metrotvnews.com, Klaten district: citizens around Merapi are asked to remain vigilant of  activity. In the meantime, residents have asked that the damaged to evacuation routes on the slopes of  the Mount  be repaired immediately.
Citizens are urged  to take precautions against disasters , the volcano’s activity in some areas has increased  of late.
“Despite the conditions,  the mountain looks to still be active,  citizens who live in KRB III Merapi should remain vigilant. As the anticipated  eruptions could occur at any time, “is explained to the Indonesian Media .
The number of residents at KRB III Merapi, according to Joko,  are about 5,700 inhabitants. They are scattered throughout a number of villages in the subdistrict of Kemalang, among them  the villages of Sidorejo, Balerante, Tegalmulyo..
The government   has set up three refugee shelters in case of eruption .  Each of which has a capacity of about 2,000 people.  The  centers built  by BNPB are located in Prambanan, Karangnongko, and Kebonarum.
In the meantime, Sukamto, a 50 year old socialite in Balerante Village, has asked that the Government   repair a damaged evacuation path on the slope of Merapi.   Repairs would make for a smooth evacuation and ensure security if the mountain erupted.
In addition, the bridge that was badly damaged on the evacuation route also needs to be repaired.
Editor: Henri Solomon Siagian

 

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Merapi volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia): new ash explosions

 

Wednesday Feb 26, 2014 17:41 PM | BY: T

Another ash eruption occurred at the volcano this afternoon at 16:15 local time. According to local news quoting the local VSI volcano observatory spokesman, the eruption today was the largest in a series since the alert status had been raised on 3 August last year.

 

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By The Washington Times    News

MOUNT SINABUNG, Indonesia — An Indonesian volcano that has been rumbling for months unleased a major eruption Saturday, killing 14 people just a day after authorities allowed thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, saying that activity was decreasing, officials said.

Among the dead on Mount Sinabung were a local television journalist and four high-school students and their teacher who were visiting the mountain to see the eruptions up close, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. At least three other people were injured, and authorities feared the death toll would rise.

Sinabung in western Sumatra has been erupting for four months, sending lava and searing gas and rocks rolling down its southern slopes. Authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 people, housing them in cramped tents, schools and public buildings. Many have been desperate to return to check on homes and farms, presenting a dilemma for the government.

On Friday, authorities allowed nearly 14,000 people living outside a five-kilometer (three-mile) danger zone to return home after volcanic activity decreased. Others living close to the peak have been returning to their homes over the past four months despite the dangers.

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Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano erupts, leaving up to 14 dead

The volcano has become increasingly active in the last few months, sending columns of ash several kilometres into the air

A woman flees as Mount Sinabung erupts
A woman flees as Mount Sinabung erupts
Getty

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano has erupted on the island of Sumatra, killing at least 14 people today and sending others fleeing from its falling ash.

The volcano has become increasingly active in recent months.

The last few weeks have seen the mountain regularly spewing columns of ash several kilometres into the air, and the government had already evacuated tens of thousands of people from the area.

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SHAKE AND BLOW

19,000 Indonesians flee erupting volcano


by Staff Writers
Sinabung, Indonesia (AFP) Dec 31, 2013

 

 

 

Mount Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra sent hot rocks and ash 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) in the air Monday night and Tuesday morning, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“Mount Sinabung remains on the highest alert level and we have warned there should be no human activity within a five-kilometre (three-mile) radius of the crater,” Nugroho said.

 

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The New Zealand Herald

Indonesia rumbling volcano unleashes fresh burst

KARO, Indonesia (AP) A rumbling volcano in western Indonesia that has been spewing lava and clouds of gas high into the sky let out a new, powerful burst Tuesday, prompting warnings for airplanes and triggering panic among villagers, officials said.

Nine eruptions Tuesday sent lava and searing gas tumbling out of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province, said Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. The volcano started spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) in the air late Monday, but no casualties were reported.

He said more than 19,000 people have been evacuated from villages in a danger zone 5 kilometers (3 miles) around the crater to temporary shelters since authorities raised the alert status for Sinabung to the highest level in November.

Gray ash covered villages, farms and trees as far as 70 kilometers (43 miles) southeast of the mountain.

 

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Mount Sinabung eruption: Mass evacuation as alert raised on Sumatra volcano

euronews (in English) euronews (in English)

Published on Nov 25, 2013

Indonesia ordered the evacuation of 15,000 residents near an active volcano in the west of the vast archipelago on Sunday as authorities raised the alert for the emergency to the highest level.
Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra has become increasingly active in recent months, spewing columns of ash several km into the air.

Authorities expanded the evacuation radius to 5 km (three miles) from 3 km and the military geared up to move residents out. About 6,000 have already been evacuated from the area, 88 km from Medan, capital of North Sumatra province.

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More displaced as Mt Sinabung
alert level raised

Karo administration spokesperson Jhonson Tarigan said Sunday that the number of villagers displaced continued to rise as Mount Sinabung erupted again on Saturday evening.

“There has been a 100 percent increase in the number of those displaced. The number is now at least 11,618 from 19 villages,” he said Sunday.

Jhonson said to handle the evacuees, the Karo administration had prepared 26 shelters with supplies. Of the total, 22 are already full.

Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) head Hendrasto said Mt Sinabung’s most recent eruption prompted the body to raise the volcano’s status on Sunday to the highest level, “siaga” or “red alert”.

“This is Sinabung’s highest level of activity. The intensity of the eruptions continues to increase,” said Hendrasto.

He said that at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, Sinabung was continuing to spew a column of ash up to 8 kilometers high.

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Indonesia on red alert for Sumatran volcano

Indonesia on red alert for Sumatran volcano

Indonesian authorities raised the alert for Mount Sinabung volcano on Sumatra to the highest level after it erupted 8 times overnight, an official said Sunday.

The new eruptions forced thousands of villagers to flee their homes, bringing the number of people displaced to 12,300 since the volcano began spewing hot ash last month, said Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

“We are in urgent need of trucks to move people, food, blankets and medical assistance,” Nugroho said.

Mount Sinabung, in the province of North Sumatra, had been dormant for 400 years before it erupted in August 2010.
There are nearly 130 active volcanoes across the Indonesian archipelago.

Thousands flee as Indonesia volcano erupts eight times

A volcano in western Indonesia has erupted eight times in just a few hours, “raining down rocks” over a large area and forcing thousands to flee their homes, officials said Sunday.

Mount Sinabung has been erupting on and off since September, but went into overdrive late Saturday and early Sunday, repeatedly spewing out red-hot ash and rocks up to eight kilometres (five miles) into the air.

Several thousand people left their homes overnight, taking the total number of people who have fled since the volcano rumbled to life to around 12,300, said the national disaster agency.

“People panicked last night as the eruption was accompanied by a loud thunderous sound and vibrations. Then it started raining down rocks,” said local government official Robert Peranginangin.

They ran helter-skelter from their homes and cried for help.”He added there were no known casualties from the latest eruptions.

The volcanology agency raised the alert level for the volcano, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, to the highest level of a four-point scale, meaning a hazardous eruption is imminent or under way.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the government was calling on people living within five kilometres (3.1 miles) of the volcano to leave their homes.

Read more:

– Indonesia volcano erupts, hundreds evacuated

– Thousands flee as volcano erupts on Indonesia’s Sumatra

– Volcano erupts in central Indonesia, five dead

Voice of Russia, AFP, dpa

 

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Earth Watch Report –  Volcanic Activity

Sinabung volcano erupts and spews hot smoke in Karo on November 10, 2013

Photo By Kharisma Tarigan Wed, Nov 13, 2013

Sinabung volcano erupts and spews hot smoke in Karo on November 10, 2013

13.11.2013 Volcano Eruption Indonesia North Sumatra, [Mount Sinabung Volcano] Damage level Details

Volcano Eruption in Indonesia on Thursday, 24 October, 2013 at 10:20 (10:20 AM) UTC.

Description
A volcano in western Indonesia erupted on Thursday, unleashing a column of dark volcanic material high into the air weeks after villagers were returning home from an earlier eruption, officials said. The explosion at Mount Sinabung, located in North Sumatra province, shot black ash 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) into the air, but there were no reports of injuries or damage, said National Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. He said villages, farms and trees around the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high rumbling volcano were covered in thick gray ash, prompting authorities to evacuate more than 3,300 people. Most were from two villages within 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) of the mountain in Karo district. No lava or debris spewed from the volcano, and nearby towns and villages were not in danger, but authorities warned tourists to stay away from the danger zone located 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the crater, Nugroho said. Last month, more than 15,000 people were forced to flee when the volcano rumbled to life after being dormant for three years, belching ash and smoke and igniting fires on its slopes. The volcano’s last major eruption in August 2010 killed two people and forced 30,000 others to flee. It caught many scientists off guard because it had been quiet for four centuries. Mount Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

Volcano Eruption in Indonesia on Thursday, 24 October, 2013 at 10:20 (10:20 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Monday, 11 November, 2013 at 11:43 UTC
Description
A joint team from the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police and the Karo administration has evacuated around 2,500 residents of Gurukinayan village in Payung district, Karo regency, North Sumatra, as Mount Sinabung continued to erupt, spewing volcanic ash, pyroclastic clouds and blazing lava, on Monday morning. The Karo administration reported no deaths, while all residents evacuated were located in a safe area, away from the dangers of the eruption in Kabanjahe. Karo administration spokesman Jhonson Tarigan said Gurukinayan residents were evacuated as the village, located only 4-kilometers from the volcano, was already blanketed by volcanic ash. Jhonson said the government did not want to take the risk by letting Gurukinayan residents stay in their village as volcanic ash unleashed by Mt. Sinabung had reached the area. “Mt. Sinabung’s strong eruption today unleashed volcanic ash, pyroclastic clouds and blazing lava, threatening residents in its nearby villages, including Gurukinayan. We evacuated them all,” Jhonson told The Jakarta Post on Monday. He further explained that Mt. Sinabung had erupted twice this morning, at 6:14 a.m. and at 7 a.m. local time. The first eruption, which was more powerful than the second, spewed volcanic ash 4,000-meters into the sky, followed by hot clouds and blazing lava that flowed as far as 1,000 meters from the peak of the volcano. Jhonson said Gurukinayan residents panicked when the first eruption occurred as the village was located outside the danger zone. “It was the first village beyond the 3-kilometer radius that was evacuated,” said Jhonson. “This shows Mt. Sinabung’s eruptions have become even worse as the volcanic ash has reached villages outside the danger zone.” Since the volcano’s initial eruption two weeks ago, the Karo administration has evacuated residents in five villages, four of which are located inside the radius of 3-kilometers: Bekerah, Mardinding, Simacem and Suka Meriah.

Volcano Eruption in Indonesia on Thursday, 24 October, 2013 at 10:20 (10:20 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 12 November, 2013 at 11:17 UTC
Description
As many as 4,300 residents in five villages in Karo regency, North Sumatra, were evacuated following increasing threats of volcanic ash, pyroclastic flows and molten lava, caused by Mount Sinabung’s strong eruptions on Monday. The recent evacuation was carried out on Monday when a joint team comprising personnel from the police, the Indonesian Military (TNI), and the local administration evacuated 2,500 residents in Gurukinayan village. Karo regency administration spokesman Jhonson Tarigan said residents in Gurukinayan were evacuated because the village, located around 4 kilometers from the volcano, was already covered in volcanic ash. Jhonson added that the government refused to risk allowing residents to remain in their homes as volcanic ash emitted by the volcano had reached the village. “Mount Sinabung again erupted strongly [on Monday] and discharged volcanic ash, pyroclastic flows and molten lava. The eruption threatened residents living in Gurukinayan, so we have evacuated them,” Jhonson told The Jakarta Post. He said the volcano erupted twice on Monday morning, the first at 6:14 a.m. and the second at 7 a.m. He added the first eruption was more powerful, spewing volcanic ash as high as 4,000 meters, followed by pyroclastic clouds and molten lava that flowed down the slopes of the mountain between 500 and 1,000 meters from the crater.

Jhonson said during the first eruption, volcanic ash reached Gurukinayan village and caused panic among residents. The village, he added, was not included in the danger zone as it is located beyond the 3-kilometer radius. Jhonson said residents from five villages had been evacuated following the first eruption two weeks ago. Four of the five villages are located within the 3-kilometer radius. They are Simacem, Bekerah, Suka Meriah and Mardinding, while Gurukinayan is located outside the 3-kilometer danger zone. “We have evacuated 4,300 people from the five villages,” said Jhonson, adding the evacuees were accommodated in a number of shelters in Kabanjahe, Tiga Nderket, Paung and Namanteran districts. Disaster Response commander Let. Col. Meyer Putong, who is also Tanah Karo Military Command chief, said the evacuees’ were in good condition. He added they were not allowed to return home until conditions improved. “Mount Sinabung erupts almost every day, so conditions aren’t safe for evacuees to return home,” Putong said, adding the emergency response status was still imposed. The Karo regency administration has declared an emergency response period following the increasing frequency of Mount Sinabung’s eruptions since Nov. 5.

The imposition of the emergency response period has forced evacuees, who are mainly farmers, to suffer losses. Their farms can no longer be tilled as they are covered by thick ash. North Sumatra Agriculture Office head M. Roem said farmers suffered losses of more than Rp 4 billion (US$345,930) due to the eruptions. “As many as 4,467 hectares of unattended farmland in Payung, Tiga Nderket and Namanteran districts are affected by the eruptions,” said Roem. He added that besides the 4,467 hectares of unattended farmland covered by volcanic ash, 3,440 hectares were also impacted by the eruptions, but they could still be cultivated by residents. The eruptions have also disrupted the supply of food commodities, in particular vegetables, from North Sumatra to several other areas in Sumatra, including Batam in Riau Islands. Karo is widely known for its agricultural products, such as potatoes and oranges, which are marketed to Jakarta and cities across Sumatra.

Volcano Eruption in Indonesia on Thursday, 24 October, 2013 at 10:20 (10:20 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 at 15:32 UTC
Description
More than 5,000 people have fled their homes in western Indonesia in recent days following a series of violent volcanic eruptions, an official said Tuesday. Mount Sinabung on the north of Sumatra island has been hurling out red-hot ash, rocks and torrents of glowing lava up to seven kilometres (four miles) into the air since the start of the month. Villagers from nearby Karo district are being evacuated as the volcano, which erupted in September for the first time since 2010, continues to spew ash and rocks. “So far, 5,265 people have been evacuated from seven villages,” local government spokesman Robert Peranginangin told AFP. “They were all very scared as the volcano has not shown signs of slowing down.” Although the government has called for people living within three kilometres (1.9 miles) of the volcano to be evacuated, Peranginangin said those living beyond the danger zone were also fleeing their homes. “They just don’t feel safe and are panicking. They prefer to stay in shelters, like mosques and churches,” he said, adding the number of evacuees was expected to go up. National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the volcano erupted again early Tuesday, spewing clouds of hot gas, although the eruption was smaller than on previous days. Indonesia has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the “Ring of Fire” between the Pacific and Indian oceans. In August five people were killed and hundreds evacuated when a volcano on a tiny island in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted.

Yahoo News

More than 5,000 flee erupting Indonesian volcano

This picture taken on November 11, 2013 shows villagers taking a military truck as they flee their homes to a shelter, at the Guru Kinayan village in Karo

More than 5,000 people have fled their homes in western Indonesia in recent days following a series of violent volcanic eruptions, an official said Tuesday.

Mount Sinabung on the north of Sumatra island has been hurling out red-hot ash, rocks and torrents of glowing lava up to seven kilometres (four miles) into the air since the start of the month.

Villagers from nearby Karo district are being evacuated as the volcano, which erupted in September for the first time since 2010, continues to spew ash and rocks.

“So far, 5,265 people have been evacuated from seven villages,” local government spokesman Robert Peranginangin told AFP.

“They were all very scared as the volcano has not shown signs of slowing down.”

Although the government has called for people living within three kilometres (1.9 miles) of the volcano to be evacuated, Peranginangin said those living beyond the danger zone were also fleeing their homes.

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SHAKE AND BLOW

 

Hundreds evacuated as Indonesia volcano erupts

by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Nov 03, 2013


A volcano in western Indonesia erupted twice Sunday, hurling red-hot ash and rocks up to seven kilometres into the air and forcing more than 1,000 people to flee their homes.

Mount Sinabung on Sumatra island erupted in September for the first time in three years, forcing thousands to flee their homes, and has been erupting intermittently ever since.

Early Sunday it hurled a column of ash seven kilometres (four miles) into the air, then erupted again in the afternoon.

Police and troops began evacuating residents from villages in a three-kilometre area around the volcano after the first eruption, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“1,293 residents living around Mount Sinabung were evacuated to safer areas,” he said.

“The number of evacuees will rise.”

 

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http://www.denverpost.com

 

Villagers walk on a road covered with volcanic ash from Mount Sinabung’s eruption in Mardingding, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. The volcano erupted Sunday, unleashing volcanic ash high into the sky and forcing the evacuation of villagers living around its slope. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

 

 

 

Mount Sinabung spews volcanic ash as it erupts as seen from Simpang Empat, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Officials raised the volcano’s alert status to the second-highest level after the 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) -high mountain erupted early Sunday. (AP Photo/Ade Sinuhaji)

 

 

 

A hand print is seen on the hood of a car covered with volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Sinabung that falls in Tiga Nderket village, North Sumatra, Indonesia,Monday Nov. 4, 2013. The 2,600-meter (8,530-foot) high volcano has been erupting since Sunday, unleashing volcanic ash high into the sky and forcing the evacuation of villagers living around its slopes. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

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Anyone  with even  an  inkling  of  compassion  would mourn the  suffering  and  the loss of  this innocent life.  The  mourning is  doubled  by the  knowledge  that more and  more  often  it is  becoming  obvious  that  humans  are  losing their  humanity.  There  is  no  regard  for  life, there  is  no regard for suffering.  Humanity  has  been  lost  to  greed  and callous  indifference.  I choose  not to  use ignorance  because  even  one  who is  ignorant  understands  that a living  being   has  the capacity  to  suffer.  Ignorance does not  nullify  the   ability to feel  compassion.  This  cruelty  , this  callous indifference  to  life is  not  ignorance  it is  EVIL.

~Desert Rose~

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The terrible fate of Raja the baby elephant, chained and held hostage by an angry mob: An image that will haunt you and a story that will enrage you

  • In this shocking expose the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother reveals how baby elephant Raja was shockingly mistreated as he was kept captive in Sumatra. Following the deforestation of the land to produce palm oil, elephants have been forced to live with humans, destroying farms, flattening houses and sometimes killing people. Villagers took Raja, and demanded compensation after his family ruined crops in the area.

By Mark Shand

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In all the 30 years I have been working in Asian elephant conservation, I thought I had seen it all – blatant corruption, the rape and total disregard of our beautiful planet and sickening wildlife atrocities, to name but a few. All due to the most dangerous animal of all: homo sapiens.

Not much shocks me any more, but something happened in recent weeks that shook me to the core when the charity Elephant Family and the Ecologist Film Unit set out to document the environmental genocide that is out of control on the island of Sumatra,  Indonesia.

Sumatra is special to me because I spent a lot of time there on expeditions when I was younger. It was a paradise – vast pristine forests, intact coral reefs and abundant wildlife.

 

Raja is a male baby elephant found in north Aceh, villagers found him roaming community plantation and held him captive

Raja is a male baby elephant found in north Aceh, villagers found him roaming community plantation and held him captive

All this has changed now and their elephants are the most endangered on the planet. In a single generation, the population has been cut in half, with countless other animals disappearing at breakneck speed.

During the filming, a helpless, emaciated baby male elephant called Raja, who was barely a year old, was found in a village, shackled with heavy chains to a tree. He had been taken hostage by the villagers, who were demanding compensation from the Sumatran  government for the damage his family had done to their crops.

Can you believe that we are now  living in a world where people are actually holding baby elephants to ransom? It is almost unthinkable. But just look at the photographs – look at Raja, as he strains against his chains, waving his little trunk for food and reassurance. He is bellowing in desperation for his mother.

Can you believe that we are now living in a world where people are actually holding baby elephants to ransom?

Can you believe that we are now living in a world where people are actually holding baby elephants to ransom?

He strains against his chains, waving his little trunk for food and reassurance. He is bellowing in desperation for his mother.

He strains against his chains, waving his little trunk for food and reassurance. He is bellowing in desperation for his mother

I have heard that sound of distressed calves many times in my life. It never fails to haunt me. But it is his eyes that haunt me more than anything – pleading for help – innocent, desperate and helpless.

A war is being waged across Asia. In the face of relentless deforestation, elephants are being forced out of their natural habitats and they have no choice but to share their living space with humans. As the elephants’ forest home is destroyed, stressed and starving herds flee from the chainsaws straight into villages.

They demolish everything in sight, trampling crops, flattening houses and often killing people. Frankly, you really cannot blame the villagers for taking such drastic steps in the sheer desperation to survive and feed their own families.

Capturing a baby elephant and holding it to ransom is grisly and depressing, but it is reality as humans and elephants fight for space.

People need to know why this is  happening. They need to understand what is driving this madness.

Read More  and  View  Video Here

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