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Sutopo Purwo Nugroho 1969-2019

Heroic and Highly-Respected Spokesman of National Disaster Mitigation Agency Dies of Cancer at 49

After a year-long battle with lung cancer, a remarkable man and Indonesian civil servant Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (49) died on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at the St. Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital in Huangzhou, China.

A non-smoker who linked his fatal disease to second-hand smoke generated by co-workers, “Pak” Sutopo was diagnosed with “stadium four” cancer in December 2017. Resigned to an almost-certain prognosis, Sutopo continued to work tirelessly as the official spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Team (BNPB) providing accurate and thoughtful updates and safety advice on developing natural disaster, such as the highly-active Mount Agung Volcano in Bali.

Born in Boyalali, Central Java on October 7, 1969, Sutopo had a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the prestigious Universitas Gajah Mada Yogyakarta and post graduate degrees from the Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB).

Open about his illness and course of treatment, Sutopo endured pain and painful treatments peppering reports on volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis with matter-of-fact non-emotional updates on his continuing treatment. His valuable reports on disaster mitigation continued up until days before his death. Active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, Sutopo’s informative and education news earned him 234,800 followers on Twitter. While social media posting were a personal project of Sutopo, his official duties, despite his illness, included generating some 600 press releases over the past year.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho is survived by his wife Ivanka Rizldy Nugroho and a son, Muhammad Aufa Wikantyasa Nugroho.

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