Karo administration officials have sounded the alarm Thursday over increasing health problems in areas where Mount Sinabung refugees are being temporarily housed, while residents also continue to flee their homes.
As of Thursday, the volcanic eruption has forced 15,291 people to flee their homes. Hundreds of the refugees are receiving outpatient medical treatment as they were affected by various illnesses and health problems.
Karo administration spokesperson, Jhonson Tarigan, said at least 250 refugees were receiving outpatient medical treatment in Kabanjahe Hospital. He said most of the refugees suffered from respiratory problems and irritation of the eyes.
Jhonson further said ten refugees were receiving inpatient medical treatment at the hospital as they suffered injuries in accidents that occurred during evacuation.
He said many refugees, either those who were staying in evacuation posts or residents who already returned home, contracted respiratory problems and eye irritations due to volcanic ash blanketing resident settlements.
Mt.Sinabung continues to spew volcanic ash since it erupted early on Sunday. He said the refugees were now being accommodated in 16 evacuation posts in Kabanjahe and Berastagi. Most of the refugees were from settlements outside dangerous zones set within a radius of 3 kilometers from the volcano.