Kelud's Smoke Had Reached Bandung, ITB Community Was Encouraged to Use Masks

By Diviezetha Astrella Thamrin

Editor -

BANDUNG, - Two hours after declared alert on its status, Kelud Mountain (1.737 meters above sea level) finally erupted on Thursday (13/02/14) at 22.49 WIB. The eruption reached 17 kilometers heights. This eruption had caused rain of volcanic rock around the mountain, particularly in Kediri. The volcanic ash even spread to other areas in Java Island, included Middle Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, until West Java. In Bandung, this ashfall started on Friday (14/02/14) afternoon.

As a precaution to avoid respiratory distress, The Work and Environment Security, Health, and Safety of ITB encouraged ITB's community to use masks for 3 days, started on the 14th of February 2014. This encouragement was written on the Form Letter number: 007/I1.B03.6/LL/2013 by The President of The Work and Environment Security, Health, and Safety of ITB, Arman Aji Wibowo, Ph.D.

Since the encouragement was spread, people in ITB were seen to have used masks outdoor. The volcanic ash contains silica particle which is harmful to health, because it can destruct the respiratory system, especially the lungs. To avoid silica's crystals and other harmful particles entering the respiratory system, wearing a mask is really recommended to filter the inhaled air.

At Ganesha ITB Campus, vehicles which were parked on Friday afternoon were seen to be covered by ash. Blowing wind also flied ash through the buildings' breezeways. In the building of School of Business and Management (SBM) ITB, ceramics which were used to be red were seen white because of the ash sludge.

Kelud Mountain from now is still on its alert, which means that this mountain still has high level of activity, and there's still a chance to be other eruptions anytime. Seeing the cause of the ashfall which had reached Bandung, all the ITB's community are expected to be aware and to pay attention to the encouragement of using masks. If the ashfall still happens and there is still ash pollution, all the ITB's community are expected to wear mask until the impact of the eruption has really dissolved.