News Release U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey
Release Date: March 14, 2008
Contacts: Jl. Medan Merdeka
Selatan 4, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia. Phone: (62-21) 3435-9500, Fax: (62-21)
Clarice Nassif Ransom, cransom@xxxxxxxx, 703-648-4299
United States and Indonesia
to Establish Regional Volcano Observatory in North Sulawesi
Jakarta, March 14 -- The
United States and Indonesia will collaborate to improve monitoring and
early warning capacity of volcanic activity, in an area that is home to
many people who are at risk from probable eruptions.
United States Ambassador to Indonesia,
Cameron R. Hume and the Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’
Geological Agency, Bambang Dwiyanto, signed an agreement that will bring
together volcano scientists from the two countries. Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro,
the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, witnessed the signing.
The agreement calls for scientific
agencies from both countries to establish a regional volcano observatory
with the capability to monitor volcanic activity and provide early warning
of volcanic eruptions in North Sulawesi and the adjacent Sangihe Islands.
The North Sulawesi-Sangihe Islands area is home to 11 active volcanoes
and has a vulnerable population of close to a half million people.
The U.S. Volcano Disaster Assistance
Program combines the scientific expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey
with the disaster relief experience of the U.S. Agency for International
Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
These agencies will now work with
Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazards Mitigation which
is responsible for monitoring the country’s 129 active volcanoes and issuing
warnings to save lives and property. The Center is part of Indonesia’s
Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.