The North Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency ( BPPD ) has said volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, had not yet posed health risks to residents in Medan, the province's capital.
BPPD head Asren Nasution said in Medan on Sunday that volcanic ash blown by wind to Medan had not yet threatened the health of residents in the city.
To highlight the unpredictably of where airborne ash will carry, he said that wind-blown ash from Sinabung had once posed a health risk to residents of Tapaktuan in South Aceh.
'It sometimes happens that Kabanjahe, which is near Mt Sinabung, is not affected by the eruption, but Brastagi, which is far away from the volcano, has been hit with ash,' said Asren, as quoted by Antara news agency.
He said the BPBD was calling on local residents in Medan and its surrounding areas to stay calm. 'Don't panic. It's just a natural phenomenon,' said Asren. ( ebf )