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Jakarta Post

Merapi evacuees return to a wasteland

  • Slamet Susanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Sun, December 5 2010   /  12:51 pm

After more than a month of living at makeshift shelters, thousands of victims of the Mt. Merapi eruptions started to return home to their devastated houses and villages on Saturday.

They decided to go home after the Volcanic Technology Development and Research Agency lowered Merapi’s alert status as of Friday evening.

However, many returned home briefly on Saturday to survey the damage and to clean, planning to return home permanently on Sunday.

Residents whose houses were completely destroyed by the eruptions were forced to remain at the shelters. They too checked up on the condition of their houses, and searched for any valuables.

“I went home on Friday evening upon hearing that the alert status of Merapi had been lowered,” said Sri Agung, a resident of Pagerjurang in Kepuharjo, Sleman.

Agung said the announcement had convinced him it was finall...