Indonesia Was Hailed By US President As Example For World – The US President Barack Obama has announced Indonesia as an example of how a developing nation can embrace democracy and diversity. He was speaking in Jakarta on a visit. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation.
President Obama was speaking at the University of Indonesia, before an audience of 6,000 people. He emphasized that the US was not at war with Islam despite the fact that some militants were still targeting innocent people across the world.
In his speech, he touched on the four years he spent in the country as a child and emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s example as a growing economy and a majority-Muslim that is largely tolerant of other religions.
Furthermore, he highlighted the role religion had played in Indonesia’s development, praising the country’s spirituality and rich diversity. He mentioned more work needed to be done to address the issues that have caused tensions for many years but appealed for unity to defeat violent extremists.
He added: “Instead, all of us must work together to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion. But those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy. This is not a task for America alone.”
The president’s short trip has afforded him little leisure time, but before the university speech, the president and the first lady managed a visit to Jakarta’s Istiqlal mosque, the largest in South-East Asia.
Mount Sinabung, a dormant volcano in North Sumatra province in Indonesia which has been inactive since the 1600s finally wakes up Sunday as it shoots out volcanic ash nearly a mile into the air. It has been sleeping for 400 years and now it can no longer hold the magma inside.
Surono, head of the country’s volcanology and geology agency said, “We don’t know the character of this volcano because it’s been dormant for so long”. The volcanoerupted just after 12:15 a.m. Sunday (1:15 p.m. ET Saturday) as what has been reported by the official Antara news agency. The volcano has been monitored closely and based on their latest report, a destructive eruption is not likely to happen.
12,000 residents living in 14 villages near the volcano has already been evacuated by the authorities. The evacuation was ordered Saturday by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation along with a warning. As of the moment no casualties has been reported yet.
The Medan Tribune quoted one local resident as saying he panicked and ran when he saw lava coming towards his him “like a ball of fire”.
Indonesia is among the number of countries which has been included in the Pacific Ring of Fire and has at least 129 active volcanoes. Although it has been used to volcanic eruptions, this one has been dormant for so long so nearby resident are most likely not ready for it.
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale has jolted islands in north-eastern Indonesia on Saturday but no immediate damage or casualty has been reported and no tsunami alert has been issued.
The quake was centered 155 km (95 miles) southeast of Labuha in the North Moluccas at a depth of about 30 km (20 miles) and occured at 4:41 p.m. local time,according to the local Meteorological and Geophysics (BMG) agency.
The BMG said the quake did not trigger a tsunami. It was the latest of a series of earthquakes to jolt Indonesia in recent months.
Indonesia is located on a series of geological fault lines, making it vulnerable to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Early Wednesday of Indonesian time, the archipelago has been struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and there has been a tsunami alert made. From the USGS records the quake hit the country at 6:15 pm ET and quake’s epicentre was 204km (127 miles) northwest of Sibolga on Sumatra’s coast, at a depth of nearly 48km. There has been reports that six people on Simeulue island were injured and two houses collapsed under the violent shaking. The has been felt for 3-4 minutes and reported to be strong.
Measurements of sea levels indicated that tsunami waves “may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. But despite of this destructive widespread tidal wave was said to be unlikely.
Local television reported that people rushed to higher ground in some areas. Thai authorities also warned people in coastal areas to evacuate to a safe place.
Death Toll Increases in New Mount Merapi Eruption in Indonesia – At least 64 people have died in the most recent eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano. Since it became active again last week, it has doubled the death toll.
The latest eruption started late on Thursday which sent residents streaming down the mountain with ash-covered faces. According to volcanologists Surono, this is the biggest eruption so far. The heatclouds went down the slopes as far as 13km (8 miles) and the explosion was heard as far as 20km away. Authorities have decided to widen the danger zone around the crater from 15kmto 20 km.
Unfortunately, more than 100 people are now said to have been killed. Approximately 75,000 residents have been evacuated from the area. Many are still being treated for burns and respiratory problems after a gas cloud hit village with even greater force than the previous eruptions. Rescuers said that some of the villages in the area were in flames.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had an announcement that the government will buy all the cattle from farmers in the affected villages in order to keep people from going back to their homes during the crisis.
Many of the dead are believed to be children from Argomulyo village which is 18km (11 miles) from the crater. According to the local hospital spokesman Heru Nugroho, 54 bodies had been brought in on Friday and more than 66 others were injured, many of them were critically burnt.
Nonetheless, scientists are warning of further eruptions in the coming weeks.