Hope, sadness as volunteers search for victims of Indonesian volcano


CURAH KOBOKAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – At the foot of Indonesia’s Mount Semeru, what’s left of the homes alongside the primary village street are coated in a thick layer of hardened volcanic ash.

Curah Kobokan was among the many worst-hit areas when the three,676-metre (12,060 ft) Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, sending a cloud of ash into the sky and harmful pyroclastic flows into villages beneath.

At least 34 folks have been killed and 22 folks have been lacking as of Tuesday.

Since day one of the catastrophe, volunteer Dodik Suryadiawan, 36, has pushed on the bumpy roads in his private four-wheel drive, serving to to retrieve the stays of those that perished.

Among the victims he discovered was a mom who died cuddling her baby.

“I really feel very sorry, particularly when I attempt to think about scorching ash falling at the moment,” he stated.

Using heavy tools and shovels, Dodik and fellow volunteers joined a search group of police, army and the catastrophe mitigation company, combing by means of land the place homes and a sand mine firm as soon as stood.

As the energetic volcano spews scorching air behind him, Dodik, who has no formal coaching, is continually reminded of how harmful his work is.

Indonesia’s volcanology company on Monday stated there was potential for additional flows of scorching fuel, ash and rock.

Dodik began volunteering as half of a four-wheel drive pastime group serving to in a search and rescue operation final December when floods hit Lumajang Regency, the place Curah Kobokan is situated.

“We have been impressed to specific our loyalty (to the group) by means of our pastime,” he stated.

On Tuesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the catastrophe zone and stated a minimum of 2,000 properties would must be relocated to safer areas.

For Dodik, serving to folks to seek out their family members is all that issues.

“We should be prepared to leap into motion,” he stated.

(Writing by Angie Teo; Editing by Martin Petty and Janet Lawrence)

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