Indonesian soldiers of Special Force of Kopassus evacuate an elderly woman who refuses to leave her home during an evacuation after a new violent explosion in Umbulharjo, Sleman on October 30, 2010.
SEMARANG, KOMPAS.com – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Tuesday the death toll in the eruption of Mount Merapi which has reached 38 serves as a lesson for the Indonesian nation to become more rational. He regretted the high number of people who had fallen victim to the disaster as many people ignored danger warnings issued by the authorities.
“If they really heeded what the government had told them, and if they thought rationally, (the death toll would not be that high),” he said.
They should have exercised their logic and used their knowledge as the danger warnings were issued based on the results of scientific observations, he said. The government was obliged to issue the danger warnings in easy-to-understand language, he said.
If all residents living on the slopes of Mt Merapi had heeded the danger warnings, the death toll could have been much reduced, he said. “This is a bitter lesson for us to become a rational nation, to believe in Almighty God and identify something based on scientific knowledge,” he said.
Mount Merapi, located in the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta province, has erupted at least five times since October 26, spewing hot clouds 1.5 km into the air and sending lava down its many slopes.
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