16:51 14 February 2014
Indonesia’s national disaster agency has ordered the evacuation of all the families living within a 6-mile radius of Mt Kelud after it has erupted and affected the heavily populated Indonesian island of Java.
The eruption led to huge plume of ash and sand 10 miles into the air, which resulted to the closure of five airports and the evacuation of more than 100,000 people with thousands more still caught in the rush to get out.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Nugroho said that although the eruptions had ceased, the ash had spread as far as 312 miles to the west and northwest which caused major problems particularly to airlines.
He explained: "Areas to the west of Mount Kelud, including central Java, Yogyakarta, Cilacap, Magelang, Temanggung and Boyolali are still experiencing showers of ash, because last night the biggest eruption ... threw sand and ash 17 km into the air.”
Meanwhile, Pertamina spokesman Ali Mundakir, said: "Thankfully, Cilacap operations are normal, although ash has indeed reached the Cilacap area. As a preventative measure, we have immediately prepared air filters for equipment there."
Soemitro Samadikoen, chairman of Indonesian Sugarcane Farmers Association, said: "The eruption will affect sugarcane plantations, but the impact is relatively small. With this very small impact and high stock (in the domestic market) we do not need to import white sugar from other countries."