Catholics aid Java volcano evacuees

Parishioners help evacuate villagers

Parishioners help evacuate villagers

Semarang archdiocese in central Java has been helping evacuees sheltered in makeshift tents following an eruption of Indonesia’s most active volcano.

“We set up soup kitchens at every community and an aid post in our parish compound,” said Father Petrus Sadjiyana from Assumption of Mary Church.

The priest added that several parishioners has helped distribute basic necessities and drinking water to about 4,000 displaced people. The relief aids came from local Catholics, the archdiocese’s Caritas and Caritas Indonesia.

A Catholic volunteer said his group has helped evacuate people living on the mountains regardless of their religious background.

The 2,968-metre-high Mount Merapi erupted on 26 October, killing at least 26 people and forcing over 8,000 to flee the toxic dust fumes and lava, despite the government’s advanced warnings.

The volcano has erupted many times over the last 200 years. In 1930, 1,300 people died and in 1994, 60 people were killed following an eruption.

Source: UCAN