Indonesia Life's Diary

Behind Kelud Volcano Eruption

In every natural disaster, there will always be a miracle. And today, Malang is the miracle. Located only few tens of kilometers from Kelud Mountain, Malang city feels nothing about the volcano eruption effect. While far away cities like Jogja and Solo (300 km) are suffered by Kelud materials rain, Malang stays “cool and clean”, just like nothing enormous has happened.

Right on Valentine’s Day 140214, Kelud volcano suddenly erupted. It was around 00.00 a.m. when people from surrounding area saw a very bright color in the sky, followed by frightening sound just like a thunderstorm. In the morning, many people surprisingly woke up with a sudden dust rain coming to their house.

Live picture of Kelud eruption taken from Wlingi-Blitar
Live picture of Kelud eruption taken from Wlingi-Blitar

I was in Surabaya that day and ready to go to office. The dust rain has also come to this city. Our factory floor becomes white because of the volcano ash, but a sudden (water) rain before evening washed away the ash trails–fortunately. In the same day, @bloggerngalam and @bmtberjamaahmlg community has connected to collect donation and distribute it to the victim areas near Malang city. The news then spreading and donations flowing till we can collect some million rupiahs in a day. Thanks God! Late in the evening I went back to Malang and we got prepared to distribute logistics we have bought.

The guys of @bloggerngalam and @BMTBerjamaahMlg ready to go :)
The guys of @bloggerngalam and @BMTBerjamaahMlg ready to go

The next morning, @haqqi @rendriy @_sandynata @fajarembun @winawibiy @elfarqy @sakekelana @ranirakhma @firasti @_oktavianidewi and me, made our journey to Batu and Pujon. The devastating effect of Kelud volcano was clearly shown there. Nothing left as a bare surface—the streets, roofs, and plants have all been covered by volcanic dust. Just like the city of ash. Situation has become even worse in the higher area of Ngantang and Kasembon. We didn’t go way up there because people said it was too dangerous, dust on the road was too thick (5-10 cm), and people there have been evacuated down hill to Batu and Pujon.

The city of ash
The city of ash

Those areas are only a stone’s throw away from Malang. Even from my house it’s only 30 minutes drive. But again, amazingly we didn’t get even a single particle of volcanic dust. The main reason is, at the time of Kelud eruption, the wind blew to the west, bringing 100-200 million cubic of volcano materials spreading over the western part of Java Island. Malang is a bit in the east side of Kelud, so eventhough we’re so close we didn’t get the dust rain. And you know what? People said that we were protected by Panderman hills—stand right between Batu and Pujon. These hills blocked Kelud materials rain from blowing into Malang city. See, how unbelievable it all goes 🙂

I cannot imagine how would it be if the dust rain has come so heavy over our houses. It’s so pity to see life of the refugees and I don’t want my family to live there. Malang is a miracle today, and we should all feel grateful because God bless us this time.

"White House"
“White House”
The gray village
The gray village

Well back to the guys, we kept walking (by car of course) around Batu-Pujon, and dropped logistics in several refuge centers. Schools, meeting buildings, and sport centers became a sudden place to live for all refugees. And then we continued walking until reaching the isolated village up there beyond Pujon, named Ndelik village (and all villages behind that I forgot the name). There, people still stayed at their house eventhough dust rained so heavy that all places became like sea of the ash. They even didn’t get a chance to obtain masks for protecting their respiratory–because the villages were just too far from logistic center. So when we came there, they enthusiastically snatched the masks we brought in just like a precious treasure.

When masks become treasure
When masks become treasure
Good girl gone masks
Good girl gone masks

On mid-day we have spent all logistics we had and going down back to Malang city. Every body was tired because we spent last night buying logistics and had less sleep. However we all feel grateful that we can at least do something to help the victims. We got new friends and built new connection–and yes for the sake of kindness and humanity, we will be stronger if we’re going together 🙂

God bless Malang!

12 Comments

    1. iya mbak rosi, alhamdulillah. koordinasi yang sangat singkat tanpa tatap muka tapi karena semua berkomitmen, bisa langsung jalan. padahal biasanya kalau ada rencana bikin acara molor terus jadi #wacana 😛 memang semua amal itu tergantung niatnya ya mbak =))

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