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A Second Indonesian Volcano Erupts

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

Mt Merapi eruption follows multiple explosions at Mt Sinabung

“Mount Merapi experienced a phreatic eruption. Its status remains normal due to a lack of activity,” said Yogyakarta’s Geological Disaster Technology Development and Research Agency (BPPTKG).

On November 16, 2013 FIRE-EARTH warned: 22 Indonesian Volcanoes Remain on High Alerts

Mt Merapi was placed on “Yellow Alert,” or “Level II” of the country’s 4-level alert system, on August 3, 2013.

Mt merapi
Latest Image of Mt Merapi. Credit: Badan Geologi.

“On Monday at 4:52 a.m. before the eruption, BPPTKG detected an earthquake in Ciamis, West Java, at a magnitude of 4.7 on the Richter scale. The tectonic quake is believed to have shaken the magma chamber of Mount Merapi causing it to release gas from below,” said BPPTKG spokesperson.

Merapi ejected volcanic materials about 2 kilometers into the air showering a 60-km radius area east of the volcano with ash, said the report.

The authorities have since imposed 1-kilometer exclusion zone around the volcano base.

The phreatic eruption on Monday was similar to one on July 22, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman. “But today’s was more powerful than the July 22 eruption.”

More than 600 families living in Kalitengah Lor, Kalitengah Kidul and Srune hamlets, in Glagaharjo village, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, have been evacuated.

Hundreds of other villagers living on the western flank of Mount Merapi also fled their homes.

“The volcanic ash also affected residents in nearby towns. In Surakarta, Central Java, residents were shocked by the sight of volcanic ash covering streets, gardens and roofs. The ash rain continued until around 10 a.m. on Monday.” said the report.

“Surowedanan village in Boyolali, located around 17 km from the peak of Mount Merapi, was also covered by volcanic ash. ‘This morning, when I went out of the house at around 5 a.m., I saw ash everywhere,’ said Veronica Maria Sayektiana, of Surowedanan. According to Veronica, residents were wearing masks when they ventured out of their homes as the ash was still falling along with the drizzle.”

Merapi eruptions have killed hundreds of people in the past couple of decades.

Mount Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. The 2010 its eruptions killed more than 300 people dead and forced about 400,000 people to evacuate their towns, while a 1930 eruption left at least 1,300 dead.

Mt Sinabung Update

The Indonesian ministry of transportation has diverted all flights to avoid routes near Mt Sinabung, located in Karo District, North Sumatra, which has erupted multiple times since last week.

The authorities say Mt Sinabung eruption on November 12 ejected  volcanic material that covered five districts destroying some 1,893 hectares of citrus plantations in Tanah Karo, which has impacted fruit production, said a report.

The explosive activity follows a series of most recent eruptions exhibited by the 2,460-meter high volcano that began in September 2013, leading to a significant eruption on October 24, which saw the volcano spewing smoke and ash to a height of about 3km above the crater summit, followed by other eruptions, especially the explosive eruption that occurred on Sunday, November 3.

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