Survivors of volcanic eruption dare not move back
The Straits Times|December 13, 2021
Evacuees hope Indonesian government will relocate them away from vulnerable area
Linda Yulisman
Haunted by trauma, survivors of the deadly Mount Semeru eruption earlier this month in Lumajang, East Java, are hoping for a relocation of their settlement to avert recurrent danger.

After taking shelter in a school for a few days, Ms Suprih Miyati, 40, ventured home to check if she could save some of her belongings.

Parts of the roof of her house had collapsed, while furniture and other stuff were covered in ash, making them impossible to retrieve. “I want a relocation. I’m scared here. If there are similar incidents again, it will be hard to escape,” the housewife told The Straits Times.

Located at the base of the volcano, her village of Supiturang in Pronojiwo district was among the worst hit when Java’s tallest mountain erupted on Dec 4, spewing ash clouds and pyroclastic flows that have so far claimed 46 lives.

“We thought it was a usual flood. But it turned out to be lava flow. Suddenly, it was all black,” Ms Suprih said, recounting the moment before she fled with her husband and 19-year-old son to a relative’s house. “I still remember it. It makes me shiver.”

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