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With volcanic eruption looming, group plans animal evacuation

With volcanic eruption looming, group plans animal evacuation

With volcanic eruption looming, group plans animal evacuation
ProFauna Indonesia
May 4, 2006

The seismic record of Merapi Volcano in Central Java is presently showing increase activities. The Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazzard Mitigation has raised the alert level from II to III on 12th April. The authority estimated that the volcano would most likely erupt soon, in the next two weeks.

On 22nd November 1994, Mount Merapi erupted, causing 67 human deaths and killing thousands of animals. In February 2001, Merapi became active again but no one was killed. At present, Merapi is returning to be very active and most of the 29,000 villagers, many are poor farmers, have already been evacuated to safer places. However, the local authority has no means to evacuate their livestock.

During the last week ProFauna’s members in Yogyakarta (Central Java) has been busily monitoring the development of Mount Merapi. They also observed the potential hazard on thousands of live stock and cattle left behind, which would likely be killed if the volcano erupts.

Volcano outside Yogjakarta on the island of Java, Indonesia (Photo by R. Butler)

ProFauna Indonesia and ISAW (Indonesian Society for Animal Welfare) are presently carrying out the animal evacuation in view of the potential volcano eruption. Both organisations formed a rescue team to provide treatment to the animals and post eruption rescue. The team is led by Dr Luki Kusuma Wardhani, who previously also led ProFauna’s team to rescue Tsunami animal victims in Aceh

All animals will be evacuated to safer areas, tagged, fed, given shelter and receive medical attention. “The evacuation of the animals is very important to the livelihood of the local farmers and the villagers, whose lives are affected by the disaster. If we are able to rescue their cattle, it would be a big help to the community”. Animals that are neglected would be susceptible to diseases, which could infect humans.

This is a news release from ProFauna Indonesia.

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