A huge eruption in the late evening of February 13 was followed by scores of major eruptions. This has directly affected over 200,000 people living within a 10 km radius to the mountain based on reports from the National Agency for Disaster Mitigation. The agency also reported that around 100,000 of the affected community have been forced to abandon their houses as rocks pounded the areas and thick ash blanketed the slopes close to their villages.
There have been 2 fatalities reported so far due to the collapse of their homes.
The volcanic ash, which was catapulted up to 17 kilometers high in the air, was swept away by the wind, mostly to the west, causing ash to blanket many cities across Java, such as Solo, Klaten, Yogyakarta, Kebumen, and even as far away as Tasikmalaya in West Java, some 500 kilometers away.
The ash, which has limited visibility in many places, has forced the temporary closure of the airports in Surabaya, Malang, Solo, and Yogyakarta. Over 500 flights were cancelled through Friday afternoon.
World Vision Indonesia’s emergency response team has been deployed to Kediri city, where there is a high concentration of evacuees. They will be conducting a rapid assessment to find out the pressing needs of the displaced. At present, communication lines are not disrupted.
WV Indonesia National Director, Tjahjono Soerjodibroto said, "Our response will focus on addressing the immediate needs of the children and the community, such as through the distribution of children hygiene kits, family kits and masks."
Billy Sumuan, HEA Director, said that 500 family kits and 2,000 masks are now on their way to Kediri. “The goods will reach Kediri tomorrow and will be distributed as soon as possible to the evacuees.”
Mount Kelud has erupted several times during the last century, such as in 1919, 1951, 1966 and 1990. The eruption in 1990 lasted 45 days as the mountain spewed over 50 million cubic meters of volcanic materials to neighboring areas. More eruptions anticipated as ongoing tremors in the mountain have been recorded. But there is no estimate of the magnitude of future eruptions.