United States Provides $100,000 in Assistance to Support Indonesians Displaced by Mount Sinabung Eruptions

JAKARTA – In response to the ongoing eruptions of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra, United States Ambassador Robert Blake offered $100,000 to support the Government of Indonesia’s response. The U.S. government, through the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing humanitarian relief items to people residing in evacuation centers.

“I am impressed by the strong spirit and resilience of the communities at Mt. Sinabung,” said Ambassador Robert Blake. “The United States is committed to working with the Government of Indonesia to help the people of Sinabung recover from this calamity and rebuild their lives, and to continue to help the Government monitor volcanic activity to save lives.”

The United States’ contribution of funds will allow the International Organization for Migration to purchase, distribute, and replenish critical supplies to those living in camps and deeply affected in the aftermath of the eruptions.

USAID’s on-going Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), undertaken in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, is also currently providing on site and remote technical assistance and equipment to the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) to strengthen volcano monitoring and response in the area.

The equipment created a seismic monitoring network near Mount Sinabung to detect volcano-related earthquakes – often precursors to eruptions – and was used by CVGHM to establish three seismic field stations and a base station near Mount Sinabung. The stations allow real-time monitoring of the volcano and provide up-to-date information to the surrounding community. VDAP’s satellite remote sensing data and interpretations supported life-saving decisions by emergency managers. Since 2004, USAID’s VDAP has worked to strengthen volcano monitoring, mitigation and response capacity in Indonesia.

Mount Sinabung volcano, located in North Sumatra Province, erupted for the first time in more than 400 years on August 29, 2010. It began erupting again in September 2013, displacing approximately 31,000 people. USAID staff continue to work with local officials and humanitarian agencies in North Sumatra to monitor the situation and provide coordinated assistance to displaced individuals.

This project is just one component of the United States’ disaster relief and climate change programs in Indonesia that underscores the breadth of U.S. engagement under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.

For more information please contact Danumurthi Mahendra, USAID/Indonesia Development Outreach and Communications, at 021-3435-9384 or dmahendra@usaid.gov.