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United States and Indonesia to Establish Regional Volcano Observatory in North Sulawesi
Released: 3/14/2008 4:43:10 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Clarice Nassif Ransom 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4299

Jakarta, March 14 -- The United States and Indonesia will collaborate to improve monitoring and early warning capacity of volcanic activity, in an area that is home to many people who are at risk from probable eruptions.

United States Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron R. Hume and the Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources' Geological Agency, Bambang Dwiyanto, signed an agreement that will bring together volcano scientists from the two countries. Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, witnessed the signing.

The agreement calls for scientific agencies from both countries to establish a regional volcano observatory with the capability to monitor volcanic activity and provide early warning of volcanic eruptions in North Sulawesi and the adjacent Sangihe Islands. The North Sulawesi-Sangihe Islands area is home to 11 active volcanoes and has a vulnerable population of close to a half million people.

caption below

From left to right: United States Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume, Minister of Energy and Minerals Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Director of Geological Agency Bambang Dwiyanto. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Embassy Jakarta)

The U.S. Volcano Disaster Assistance Program combines the scientific expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey with the disaster relief experience of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

These agencies will now work with Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazards Mitigation which is responsible for monitoring the country's 129 active volcanoes and issuing warnings to save lives and property. The Center is part of Indonesia's Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

For a more information about U.S. Embassy activities, please visit http://jakarta.usembassy.gov/.

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