Sat, 27 Sep 2003

Hundreds sick after volcano erupts

HOKENG JAYA, East Nusa Tenggara: At least 565 villagers living on the slopes of Mount Lewotobi in Wulanggitang subdistrict, East Flores regency, East Nusa Tenggara, have experienced respiratory problems and skin diseases following an Aug. 31 eruption of the volcano.

Marta Lolang, a nurse at the Hokeng Jaya clinic, said on Thursday she believed that diseases linked to the volcano had affected more than the 565 villagers.

She said many villages on the slopes of the volcano had been affected by sulfur and volcanic dust when it erupted on Aug. 31.

"We will tour the villages to provide free treatment as those affected cannot afford to travel to health clinics," she added. --JP