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Cablegate: A Volcano-Side, Air Conditioned Tent: Sby's Inspection Tour

VZCZCXRO8839
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0062 2980905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250905Z OCT 07
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0087
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0028
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0079
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0089
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0011
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0026
RUEHC/USAID WASHDC

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000062

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS AID FOR OFDA
DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS
JAKARTA FOR AID (NAKATSUMA)
BANGKOK FOR RDM ASIA/OFDA (BARTON)
USAID/OFDA FOR RTHAYER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV ECON ID
SUBJECT: A VOLCANO-SIDE, AIR CONDITIONED TENT: SBY'S INSPECTION TOUR
OF MT. KELUD

REF: A) SURABAYA 58; B) SURABAYA 61

This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) President Yudhoyono (SBY) spent the night of October 24
in an air conditioned tent in a refugee camp near Mt. Kelud in
East Java according to media reports. The Center Volcanology
and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Bandung had raised the
warning level for eruption to the highest level possible on
October 16 (Ref A). This important institution advises the
President on all matters related to geological threats.
According to one official, the threat of an eruption is
decreasing. However the volcano's unpredictability and official
fears of creating a false sense of security could delay lowering
the eruption threat level.

2. (SBU) The President was accompanied by the Coordinating
Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, Cabinet Secretary
Sudi Silalahi, Minister for Social Affairs Bachtiar Chamsyah,
Police Chief Gen. Sutanto, Presidential Spokesman Andi
Mallarangeng and East Java Governor Imam Utomo. Official news
services described the visit as an effort to encourage refugees
already outside the 10km danger zone to remain there, and
persuade villagers within the 10 km danger zone to depart for
the camps. The Indonesian Red Cross, local officials and the
Indonesian Army have all struggled to convince affected
residents to evacuate with widely varying levels of success.
Residents have expressed little confidence in the ability of
police, or anyone, to safeguard their homes from thieves during
their time in the camps.

3. (SBU) An Indonesian expert (please protect) told us
privately that "all parameters have been decreasing after
October 16, including the water temperature in the crater and
deformation. We won't see an eruption in the near future, but
if the warning level is lowered there is still the possibility
of a quick change in the volcano. Only God knows when it'll
really erupt."

4. (SBU) Following his visit to Mt. Kelud and environs,
President Yudhoyono will travel by helicopter to visit the
victims of another disaster, the Lapindo mud flow near Sidoarjo.
While the Coordinating Minister for Health and Welfare Aburizal
Bakrie met with refugees of potential lava flows from Mt. Kelud,
he is reportedly unlikely to accompany the President and brave
the ire of refugees from the continuing disaster in Sidoarjo
(Ref B). The Minister's Bakrie Group had a controlling interest
in the corporation implicated in the Sidoarjo mud flow disaster:
Lapindo Brantas.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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