Merapi Refugees Start to Home

YOGYAKARTA – After a safe radius, Mount Merapi was reduced to 10 kilometers, the majority of refugees began to return. However, some other refugees opted to stay in refugee camps because the house was heavily damaged. Returning refugees complain of electricity grids and water facilities are still not functioning.

Refugee Camp in Jogja Expo Center, the number of refugees continues to decrease. On Friday (19/11/2010), only the remaining 571 refugees from earlier could reach the 1600 refugees. Decrease the number of refugees, also followed by reduced flow of volunteers and logistical support to the refugee camps.

According to officials at the Command Post Displacement JEC, Wahyudi, the decline in the number of refugees occurred since the last two days. “Within the next few days, post refugees in JEC will most likely be moved to another location with a capacity smaller space. Although few in number, we do not reducing the quality of service,” Wahyudi said.

Refugees in Post JEC among others came from Sub Cangkringan, Turi, Pakem, Nglemplak, and Sukoharjo. Basuki, refugees from Turi, claimed to have returned to the house because the electricity and water networks in the area of their village still does not work. “Still waiting until completely safe,” they said.

The number of refugees in Gunung Kidul District also continues to decrease. A total of over 3,000 people from a total of 12,000 refugees have returned to the slopes of Merapi. Refugees who remained in the Gunung Kidul are those whose homes were severely damaged and comes from Cangkringan District, Sleman.