MATARAM, INDONESIA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Some 25 people from seven families of Tumbu village in Karangasem, Bali, have fled the island using a wooden boat to the neighboring island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), in fear of the imminent eruption of Mount Agung in Karangasem.
As of Sunday (Oct 1), a total of 315 people from 97 families have arrived in Lombok, according to the Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) NTB.
"We had to flee using wooden boats because we couldn't afford to buy tickets, while the rumors of eruption were concerning us," said Muhidin, 42, a Karangasem resident who traveled to Lombok with his wife and three children. The four-hour journey by sea was provided for free by the boat's owner, according to another evacuee Siti Amanah.
Their boat reached the shore of Senggigi village in West Lombok on Friday. They took shelter at one of the evacuees' relatives in Meninting village in Batulayar district, West Lombok.
Muhidin said they had previously been evacuated to the SDN 2 Tumbu elementary school since the alert status for Mount Agung was increased to the highest level last week.
"There has been circulating information that we received on our cellphones. We became anxious and afraid. We fled just in case the eruption really happened," said Siti who traveled to Lombok with her two children.
BPBD NTB head Mohammad Rum said even though there were no official shelters in Lombok, authorities were still providing humanitarian assistance to them.