JAKARTA - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the governor of East Java, Imam Utomo, to distribute masks among residents living on the slopes of the restive Mount Kelut volcano in the district of Kediri. "I want the masks made available in large numbers and distributed among residents living around the volcano," Yudhoyono said in a dialog with the local police chiefs at the Indonesian Police Headquarters in Jakarta.
The president asked the local authorities to make big efforts evacuating local residents after the volcano reached the highest status of alert yesterday evening. "If the local authorities felt it necessary to evacuate the affected residents, they must do so like when Mt Merapi in Central Java belched out hot clouds," he said. "Do your utmost for the benefit of residents living around Mt Kelud."