Indonesia Responds to Dual Natural Disasters

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will head to western Sumatra Thursday to support recovery efforts from a tsunami that killed more than 150 people, and an erupting volcano that left at least 25 dead. The president cut short his trip to Vietnam for a regional summit after the disasters struck.Indonesia on Wednesday battled to recover from the disasters that hit the sprawling island nation within 24 hours of one another.A tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake slammed into the Mentawai Island chain in western Indonesia late Monday, killing scores. And in Central Java, Mount Merapi, the country’s most active volcano, began spewing searing ash and debris late Tuesday.Rough seas have hampered aid from reaching the Mentawais, which are about 200 kilometers off the coast of Sumatra. That island has experienced increasingly frequent seismic activity in recent years. A devastating earthquake in Padang city last September prompted the government to improve its rapid response and early warning systems – Voanews