European Union supports victims of Mt Agung eruptions in Bali

BALI, – Following a series of eruptions of Mount Agung volcano in Indonesia’s island of Bali since late September, the European Union (EU) is making available EUR 100,000 (approx. IDR 1.6 billion) to deliver emergency relief assistance to the most affected families. The aid will directly benefit 11,000 people in some of the worst-hit districts of Bangli, Bulenleng, Gianyar, and Karangasem.

This EU funding supports the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) in delivering much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable populations, in particular the displaced families currently living in camps. The aid includes the provision of shelter materials, safe drinking water, hygiene and baby kits, latrines, masks, and health care services. 

To ensure safe evacuations of local communities in times of eruption, early warning messages and awareness-raising activities are also being delivered. In addition, the initiative supports the restoration and maintenance of contacts amongst those whose family members have been separated as a result of the event. The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The increased seismic activity on the island of Bali has so far resulted in the evacuation of more than 66,000 people in at risk zones to over 220 temporary settlements, and forced a series of temporary closures of airports in and around the island. An eight-kilometre exclusion zone has also been imposed.

Mount Agung’s alert status was first raised back in September after a surge in seismic activity indicating a high probability of an eruption had been reported, triggering over 150,000 people to be evacuated. Seismic activity had since declined, but on 27 November, the alert status was raised again to Level IV, the highest in Indonesia’s four-tier volcano alert system, as the volcano continued to spew large plumes of volcanic ashes. (NS)

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