YOGYAKARTA Oct 29 — Mount Merapi erupted at least five times today, but that did not weaken the spirit of Malaysian medical students here from offering voluntary aid and assistance to the victims.
The students, comprising the undergraduates from Universiti Negeri Surakarta (UNS) 11 Maret, Solo, today presented medicine, infant formula, mats and blankets to over 2,000 victims at a relief centre in Kepuharjo, Sleman, near here.
President of the Solo branch of National Association of Malaysian Students in Indonesia, Nazaruludin Mat Nazir, who led the voluntary mission said they would also help the Indonesian Red Crescent Society in providing psycho-traumatic treatment, aimed at calming and lifting the spirit of the victims.
"We are prepared to help during weekends and semester break and our participation will not affect our studies,” he said.
Meanwhile, seven students of Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), who are undergoing an exchange programme at the Indonesia Art Polytechnic in Kaliurang, 19km from Mount Merapi, were reported to be in safe and healthy condition.
They are Muhammad Muzammil Jamaluddin, Nur Syazwan Arasy Norazmy, Adli Faisal Ahmas Zamri, Mohamad Hafiz Ashraf Saipul Islam, Mohammad Ridzuan Abdullah, Mohamad Aizam Mohamad Saad and Mohamad Hafiz Mohamad.
MARA director in Indonesia Nor Uyon Shoib today visited and distributed face masks to the students.
Adli Faisal, 20, from Gombak, said he and his friends were not aware of the Mount Merapi eruptions, and were only notified hours later by their next-door neighbour in Tegalmindi, Kaliurang.
Another student, Mohamad Hafiz, 20, from Wakaf Mempelam, Kuala Terengganu, said they also did not feel the effect of the volcanic ash, except the difference in the weather, which was hotter than usual.
Today”s five eruptions of the volcano sent out hot air and volcanic ash, known to the locals as “wedhus gembel”, besides lava, which is now flowing down the mountain towards Kaligendol.